How to Find the Best AMS Platform for Your Organization

Questions to Ask When Renewing Your Legacy AMS

Associations rely on their association management system (AMS) to recruit, manage and engage with their members, prospects and partners and to efficiently and effectively exceed operational and member-related goals. Unfortunately, when staff begin to spend more time managing the AMS software than managing members, the results can be devastating.

Membership associations should review their legacy association management system (AMS) to determine whether it still meets their business needs as well as the current and future needs of their members.

Is it time to invest in a new AMS?

Selecting and implementing a new AMS will require significant upfront investment in time, money and other resources, but, in most cases, the investment is worth it in the long run. Because of those costs and the potential disruption to their daily business operations, associations often struggle to squeeze more out of their current AMS platform—even at the expense of membership initiatives and staff efficiency.

To help your association make the decision to switch your AMS platform, there are three important questions you should ask yourself.

Has your legacy AMS provider been responsive to all of your concerns?

When it comes to troubleshooting their AMS, most associations lean heavily on their vendors to recommend solutions (ex. specific workflows) and configure the software to their specific needs. In such instances, the client-vendor relationship is as important as the capabilities of the AMS itself. 

If your vendor doesn’t provide the required level of support and professional services your association needs to be successful, it’s best to look for a new AMS provider, one who continually invests in resources and staff dedicated to helping your association achieve your objectives. 

Does your AMS help you reach your goals?

Aside from providing robust functionalities, your legacy AMS system should integrate seamlessly with your association’s website and third-party vendors (ex. Marketing Automation, Community, Learning Management). If your members find it challenging to engage with your association via digital channels such as your website (ex. shopping cart or event registration forms), or your staff finds it difficult to share data between various platforms, your vendor isn’t delivering a functional solution that meets the needs and expectations of your members. That can potentially lead to the loss of revenue and possibly a decrease in membership.

The whole point of using an AMS system is to maximize the user experience, streamline processes and make it easier for you to manage your association’s activities. It should save you time and money by automating manual and mundane workflows and freeing up your team to focus on more strategic tasks. If your legacy system doesn’t help you achieve your operational, business and membership goals, you’re better off looking for a new provider.

At what point is your AMS at in the refresh cycle?

For every AMS you purchase, you should get at least seven years of use out of it before the underlying technology becomes outdated. By that time, your business model or workflows will have changed to the point that the legacy AMS may be incompatible, or technology will have advanced to the point that your system is unable to deliver comparable levels of service expected from today’s modern AMS platforms.

Since newer generations of software often deliver more functionality than older systems for the same price, you should consider looking for a new AMS.

Make the right choice for your association.

While switching to a new AMS provider can be time-consuming, disruptive and require significant financial investment, it is your best option when you’re in any of the following situations:

  • Faced with an antagonizing relationship with your legacy AMS provider
  • Outdated AMS that doesn’t deliver the services or experiences your members crave
  • Desire to take advantage of new, improved technological offerings

While there are more AMS platform options for association management software (AMS) than ever before, the sheer number of choices can be intimidating. How do you know what features to look for? How do you know what your members want? More importantly, how do you know that your AMS will still be relevant in the coming weeks, months and years?

Maybe your association would benefit most from association software with a robust data reporting feature. Or maybe they would benefit most from event management tools, including easy-to-use event registration solutions.

Below we cover the features of membership management software you should look for from both the organization and membership sides.


Features That Benefit Your Organization

Centralized database management

Modern AMS platforms consolidate and centralize multiple member database platforms into a single, highly accessible and secure location. This alone is enough to save significant time on behalf of analysts, database managers and those in other, data-driven roles.

Analytics & reporting

Today’s AMS platforms are all about data. As such, most modern AMS solutions provide several methods for data analytics and reporting that help you interpret and translate complex data into simple, easily-understood terms and concepts.

Streamlined accessibility

The centralized nature of AMS platforms makes it easy to access important member data, including membership histories, overdue accounts and more.

Community Support

Many of today’s AMS platforms boast extended online communities that can provide additional tech support, troubleshooting and advice on managing your membership base.

Ongoing Customer Support

You want an AMS provider that offers ongoing support with implementation and maintenance.


You want a solution that offers easy integration. Likely you have multiple systems already in place, so finding an AMS with the flexibility to fit into those is ideal.

Features That Benefit Your Members

Bottom line, you need resources to simplify and improve member engagement. From online member profiles to creating a distinct membership type, here are a few member engagement features needed in your AMS.

Ongoing research & development

Most AMS solutions are regularly updated and upgraded with new features and functionality, ultimately giving members additional services as technology continues to improve and expand.

Mobile accessibility

With so many members who are constantly on-the-go, many AMS platforms make it easy for mobile users to connect and use the services that are available to them.

Member Profiles

AMS software should provide online member profiles to all members. This ensures each member has a portal to manage and keep track of their membership.

Membership Tiers and Types

Ideally you should be able to create membership tiers within your organization. And your membership software should make this easy. This streamlines the member experience, making sure each member receives the info they are most interested in. It also creates an opportunity to maximize member dues revenue.

Features That Benefit Everyone

Self-service functionality

AMS platforms that offer self-service options, like giving members the ability to check on their dues and pay membership fees online, provide individuals with greater control while simultaneously lifting some of the burden from the association’s leadership.


The ability to automate how your organization operates takes a heavy workload off your shoulders, while your members get to enjoy a seamless experience that can’t be interrupted by human error.


An association driven by data is an association with happy members, and an association with happy members is one with high member retention. Robust data reporting AMS platforms enable you to make member management decisions guided by raw numbers rather than gut feelings.

Finding the Right Cultural Fit

Whatever you do, make sure to choose an AMS platform that fits with your current corporate and workplace cultures . This is easier said than done, but the configurability of modern AMS solutions gives you plenty of versatility and leeway. Use this to your advantage in order to come up with the ideal solution that benefits everyone involved.

Find the Right Business Model

It’s also critical to find an AMS provider that supports your business model. Associations that already utilize software-as-a-service, for example, need to find an AMS that supports their current structure and specific needs. If not, you might have to make some additional adjustments throughout your entire organization.

Specific needs from AMS software may differ for membership based organizations or trade associations. While one may favor software that provides organizational support for membership management, another may need tools for training/webinar/event management.

Fortunately, the Impexium AMS is highly flexible to meet your needs. And it is feature-rich membership software, providing you with the capability to ease all of your pains.

For more information on modern AMS solutions, or for details on how Impexium‘s AMS solution can meet all of your business needs, request a demo today.

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