Question: At the end of the workday, can you go home feeling confident that you won’t get a call in the middle of the night saying that your entire system is down?
For a long time, Bill McMoil couldn’t honestly answer yes to that question. As Vice President of Finance, IT & Operations at the Regulatory Affairs Professionals Society (RAPS), McMoil is responsible for what he calls “the bones of the organization that keeps the customer-facing part of the business ticking.” That’s everything from financial reporting to payroll to IT infrastructure to a whole lot of other stuff - clearly, some pretty important bones.
But after years using an outdated AMS, those bones were becoming brittle.
“We had a lot of customizations done to the system we were using and it would occasionally break,” explains McMoil. RAPS’s system was frustrating when it was broken, but the thing is, it was also frustrating even when it was working. “It was hard for users to find things, it was hard for people to buy things—it was actually hard for people to renew their memberships.”
Users would get so frustrated, McMoil says, they’d often abandon the Web site and pick up the phone. “So not only was it bad enough of an experience that they would call somebody to give them a credit card number, but it also increased our costs because we had to pay someone to answer the phone,” explains McMoil. “And it was hard to tell how much money we lost from people who just decided not to go through with the membership renewal process at all.”
All of this (and more) became the catalyst for creating change in the organization. But, as McMoil points out, “It is easy to say, ‘We need something new and we need change’ but what exactly needs to be done is different.”
To figure out what they needed, McMoil says RAPS took a broad look at the business needs from a user perspective as well as a business perspective. Once they were able to identify the key problems, they researched the solutions marketplace to find the best way to fix them.
For RAPS, their search brought them to association management solution Impexium, which not only healed their broken bones issues but has allowed them to grow. “The pro of a SaaS solution, like Impexium, is that the more input the system gets from customers and the marketplace, the better it is going to be for us. They will continue to add features and functionality that are going to play into all the needs that we have,” notes McMoil.
After making the change, McMoil says he looked back at the original list of issues, as well as the financial and operating KPIs. “When those are going in the right direction and your goals are being met, I think you've got a winner.”
Successful change-makers in McMoil’s role are constantly trying to improve the user and customer experience. “In the not too distant past, you’d have had a lot of people crowded in a room doing different things with different systems to keep the organization functioning, but we’re trying to do a lot more with a lot less,” says McMoil.
“The more efficient and effective these applications are, the more efficient and effective your people can be in doing their jobs. And that’s what success looks like.” But the largest benefit? Not having to worry about getting that “site is broken!” call in the middle of dinner.
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 his willingness to upset the association technology status-quo, Impexium is proud to recognize Bill McMoil as one of 2018’s Association Technology Disruptors!
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