Streamlining Processes with Technology

One thing I’ve learned about growing an association management company is that your technology must work for you, otherwise you will work for your technology. When PMG began in 2008, we were using several separate databases to accomplish the many separate but related tasks of our societies. We used one of the top association management systems to manage our membership database and allow members to pay dues online. We used a separate system for meeting registration and even another separate system for abstract submission, scoring and program layout. Our staff was spending large amounts of time cross-referencing databases, importing and exporting data, and being left frustrated from working in separate systems. We knew there had to be a better product out there so we began a search. We even consulted with a technology expert for associations and were left with several systems that ‘could’ work if we compromised on some of our desires. One of our primary goals in the process was to be able to provide our clients with clear data about their membership so that decisions could be data-based decisions and not general assumptions.

Through our endeavor, we met a local company, Metaport, who was building business applications on SAS. Our business model interested them and with much trepidation on my part, we entered into an agreement to build a complete association management system. The agreement gave them our expertise in the area of association management to build the product without an upfront cash investment. The system, named Joyn, combines a robust membership database with easy reporting capabilities, an event registration system, and an abstract submission and review system into one online application. It is available on the market now for any association to purchase. PMG has no ownership in the system. The product also offers a comprehensive online itinerary planner and an incredibly functional meeting app for each of our conferences that puts all the scientific content and social media tools at the fingertips of attendees. The meeting app has been so successful that we are no longer printing a program book for one of our meetings therefore saving trees and a significant printing expense. Joyn continues to add new enhancements and features to the product monthly. Just this month, we are launching a new membership application and review system module for one of our clients.

Looking back, I am proud of what this endeavor has yielded. It was a huge time investment on our behalf, and has resulted in an attractive and affordable management system for our clients which continues to streamline and improve efficiencies for our team. For the first time in eight years, I feel like our technology is working for us and not the other way around.

– Sarah Timm, CEO