Refining the Archery Trade Association’s (ATA) approach to technology allowed this Disruptor to refocus her efforts on her passion for data and service to members. If there is one thing an archery association shouldn’t have trouble with, it’s hitting a target!
Finding inefficiencies means that I can spend more time doing the most important part of my job: working with members, their benefits, and engagement with their association.
A year and a half ago, the Archery Trade Association (ATA) was having trouble leveraging their data to target and engage with their members. And if there is one thing an archery association shouldn’t have trouble with, it’s hitting a target!
Nonetheless, that’s the situation that Wendy Lang was tasked with solving for the ATA. Lang, whose career started in healthcare, joined the ATA three years ago and worked her way up the ranks from membership and trade show assistant to senior manager of membership. Over the course of those years, Lang had a ground-floor view of the information and transactional problems the association faced—and they were big.
But Lang wasn’t scared away. Instead, she was fired up. “Data is my passion,” says Lang. “So I was thrilled to be in a position where I could jump in and find a solution.” Her skills and creativity were put to the test:
Our old legacy membership management system was very clunky and very restrictive in terms of how many custom fields you could have. And data extraction was very difficult because the field names were called one thing to the user and behind the scenes, the same fields were called something else. And, unlike Impexium, our AMS (association management software) did not have open APIs so integrations were virtually next to impossible. We were very much a remote island with our membership database and we needed to get off it.
“When I was in healthcare, there was a saying: ‘Patients not paperwork.’ I can transfer that to associations by saying ‘Members not spreadsheets.’ Before Impexium, I used to spend time pulling out member directory and emailing spreadsheets, now it’s automated so members can download on-demand. I can also create tools for staff and members to optimize the AMS. All of that means that I can spend more time doing the most important part of my job: working with members, their benefits and engagement with their association. The ATA belongs to its members and I enjoy working with them and building connections for their success.”
Plus, for Lang, a lot less time and energy spent digging around unwieldy Excel files in the office means she can spend more time devoted to her other passion outside of the office: hitting bullseyes at the archery range.
Change may be the only constant in business — but that doesn’t make organizational transformation any easier. Association leaders are balancing competing priorities and increasing demands, enough to make even the most driven executive fall victim to the inertia of the status-quo.
But not every association stays still while the world seems to change around them. For her willingness to upset the association technology status-quo, Impexium is proud to recognize Wendy Lang as one of 2019’s Association Technology Disruptors!