Alicia Davis-Wade: 2019 Association Technology Disruptor


Building a Better User Experience for Members and Staffers: The Case for Simplicity

With a simple and intuitive system, this Disruptor eliminated inefficiencies across the ISVMA — allowing staffers to spend more time solving the issues most important to the community they serve.

Alicia Davis-Wade

Crucial to moving the needle on your daily workflow’s speed, efficiency and effectiveness is finding software that thinks the way you do.

That’s the way Alicia Davis-Wade, Assistant Executive Director and Finance Manager at the Illinois State Veterinary Medical Association, approached finding an AMS that could slice and dice data and engage with their members in a simple and cost-effective way. “I came from the government world and we are very straightforward about things. Sometimes in associations, there are a lot of gray areas. I'm not very gray—I'm more black and white and analytical.”

Davis-Wade needed help clearing up gray areas that were creating inefficiencies surrounding the ISVMA’s renewals, events and exhibits and mass communications processes. She searched for a solution she felt a connection with and finally found a mind-meld with Impexium.

“Impexium allows me to organize things the way my brain thinks. If you look across my desktop, I have tiles for accounting, customers, membership, events and exhibits lined up. And I can move my tiles around to reorder them in the way that I want to go about my day.”

As anyone who has spearheaded a major technological change at an organization knows, the results of a big switch can be pretty black and white as well: staffers and members will either love it or hate it.

In the case of the ISVMA, the reaction has been firmly in the love category. “Our members really like the personalization -- they get an SSO link that connects to their data, so they can very simply do everything they need to do from a computer, tablet or their phone,” says Davis-Wade. “It's a system that moves with them, so they enjoy that.” So, whether they are sitting at a desk or waiting online at a bank, they can pay dues, sign up for events or request information. “It’s very easy and user-friendly,” she says.

Impexium is helping paint a pretty happy picture for the ISVMA’s bottom line as well. “We’ve seen cost savings because I can send mass communications out with individualized links for dues renewals and members can go directly to their data within Impexium and pay,” reports Davis-Wade. “So I've seen a decrease in costs for mailing.”

To ensure the successful implementation of a new system, the always-analytical Davis-Wade relied on gathering data.

“Whenever I’m starting a project like this, I talk to everybody who is involved because the system touches everyone—but not everyone interacts with it in the same way. The program chair may use the system one way, and the secretary down the hallway utilizes totally different capabilities. So as someone who is leading the charge on change, you need to make sure that you ask questions and listen. Not only does it inform you about staffers’ needs, but it also builds a collaborative spirit and helps get everyone on board.”

When staffers have a simple and intuitive system, they can spend less time trying to figure out how to get something done and can spend more time thinking about the things and issues that are most important to the community they serve. “It's always satisfying when a member who reaches out for help with a license issue or tax question calls us back and let us know that what we've provided to them has been very helpful. We’re here to educate and inform our members, and the more time we can devote to our mission versus managing technology, the stronger our association becomes, the more successful our members become.” Nothing gray about that.

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 Alicia Davis-Wade as one of 2019’s Association Technology Disruptors!


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