The past few years have been difficult for the nonprofit industry, but associations have been working hard to streamline operations, maximize efficiencies and contain costs. With the economic climate looking up in 2011, organizations must find more solutions to help them continue to move in a positive direction, especially for their technology infrastructure. One way is using Business Process Automation.
Eliminate labor-intensive, manual administration and paper- or hard copy-based systems. Easy functions, such as updating contact information, should not be time-consuming tasks. With BPA, organizations can more quickly and efficiently process data, allowing associations to concentrate more on issues important to their members. Associations can also reduce operational overhead and the need for extra resources by moving to an automated system.
Create business rules and membership data best practices. Organizations should first determine their unique workflow requirements, and think about what applications or tools can best fulfill users' needs.With BPA, associations can easily access and piece together member demographic, transactional activity, and channel-preference and motivational data. Organizations can optimize their management process and appeals at the same time.
Integrate the Customer Relationship Management system and the Content Management system. Transactions conducted through an organization's website, such as event registrations, should be recorded directly into the database; if not, staff time can be wasted with rekeying these transactions or correcting mistakes created due to multiple databases. Workflow and BPA rules can be put in place to ensure an organization's brand standards are maintained, and its data remains "clean."
Associations need to think about new ways of doing more with less, and BPA can allow organizations to not only eliminate unnecessary expenses but also improve mission-critical operations. Rather than struggling over their data and technology infrastructure, associations can get off to a smart start in 2011, by being better equipped to handle the economic situation ahead and dedicating more attention to improving their members' experiences.
Details: Alves is CEO of Advanced Solutions International, Alexandria VA, www.advsol.com.