It probably shouldn’t come as a surprise that the person tasked with overseeing technology at the National Association of School Nurses is by nature a nurturing person. Sharon Conley, Web-based Technology Director at the NASN, loves to dig deep to help the people she works with deal with issues big and small—sometimes discovering innovative solutions in the process.
About a year ago, the NASN switched from its legacy, highly customized association management system to a modern SaaS AMS solution, and Conley made it her business to hold weekly meetings to review cases that had been submitted to the support desk.
“We'll talk about any calls that required more time than we expected, and then we problem-solve as a group,” says Conley. “And every time we meet, there's usually something big that gets discovered—like a new data point that we didn't know existed—that energizes and improves our workflow.”
NASN’s workflow needed all the help it could get. Conley began work at the association over 20 years ago, and there were major issues with the legacy membership management system. “We didn't have an AMS that allowed us to process renewals, donations and event registration all in one system. So, we were managing data in silos and everything was desktop-based. It was very clunky and difficult to keep current. This negatively impacted staff efficiency and our ability to engage with our members.”
The implementation of Impexium tore down the walls separating the association’s siloed data and transformed the way the NASN interacts with its members. “We have more control over the public-facing web pages and text, which really helps us to create a more seamless user experience and also to grab the attention of our end-users,” says Conley. “One recent feature that we are just absolutely loving is the fact that when you create a price for a product, there are display settings so you can show custom text, or you can show a strike-through price. So, we can simply show non-members the kind of discount they could be getting, and at the same time can reinforce to our existing members the value that their membership brings.”
Impexium’s system now allows the NASN to automatically send renewal notices, and very simply and cleanly share information and data with its chapter leaders. And sharing information to help school nurses who are doing critically important work is really what it is all about, Conley says.
“I am not a nurse, so I have taken some time to shadow school nurses to get a sense of what their jobs are like. That kind of perspective really does change how you feel about the member-facing products that you're putting out and the support that you're giving,” says Conley.
She recalls being at a high school and seeing a student who came into the nurse’s office for a daily glucose test.
‘The nurse helped the student take the test and walked them through interpreting the results and talked about their diet. It struck me that the nurse was teaching this young person skills to manage their chronic illness not just there in the school, but for the rest of their life. So, it brings a lot of personal pride to know that you are doing things behind the scenes at the association that is helping support school nurses who work so tirelessly to make children's lives healthier every day.”
Having a smarter, more efficient AMS has powered NASN’s ability to support school nurses who work so tirelessly, says Conley. “I really enjoy being able to serve them.”
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 Sharon Conley as one of 2019’s Association Technology Disruptors!
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