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Management software is a necessity these days. While previously considered an added commodity, the right management software will streamline most (if not all) daily processes for your facility, from operating member payment systems to gathering accurate usage stats.

Conversely, the wrong management software can be a massive headache and generally more trouble than it’s worth. So it’s important to find a management software partner that fits the needs of your staff and benefits your members.

For more insight on how to choose the best management software for your facility, Kris Huie, the director of business services at the YMCA of Greater Omaha, shares her experience in the decision-making process:

When you’re in the market for a new management software partner, what should you consider?

KH: When we switched software platforms in 2012, we considered several things:

  1. Compatibility between accounting and operating systems.
  2. Functionality of what the system could do, such as program management, fundraising management and membership operations.
  3. Ease of use by the welcome center staff.
  4. Ease of training for director-level staff, and if the software is going to allow our directors to work smarter, not harder.
  5. Whether it allows us to easily pull reports and data, helping us see and analyze trends for our association and individual branches.
  6. Ability of the software company to grow and expand with the changing needs of our YMCA.

What questions should you ask to ensure it’s the right fit?

KH: When choosing a software partner, we evaluate these factors:

  1. If the software company has the ability to grow, adapt and change with the needs of your organization.
  2. If the company will be able to offer ongoing training and support.
  3. If the company has the ability to offer direct support to your organization, or if you are thrown into a pool of “customer care operators” to answer your questions.
  4. The contracts, pricing structure and any add-ons.

How does the decision-making process differ if this is your first management software partner, or if you’ll be making the switch from an existing one?

KH: When we made the switch, we were acutely aware of what we did not want and what we needed from a software company. Our current software provider has set the bar high. If we did decide to look at changing, the level of customer care, system advancements, training and support would have to be examined from any incoming providers.

Bobby Dyer

Bobby is the former editor of Community Rec Magazine.

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