Technology can be a wonderful thing–when used correctly. Tech tools empower your association to communicate efficiently and share information effectively.

But all too often, disconnects exist among your technology and information systems. That can lead to annoying, frustrating and even costly problems. Imagine your membership software isn’t syncing up with your accounting program. Or, the data collected from your online registration form isn’t going anywhere you can access and use it. These challenges cause headaches, manual workaround processes, and lost time and resources.

You need to bridge the gaps in your association’s processes. If you don’t, your members will miss important information, and your association could lose vital revenue. Here are some important things to keep in mind as you work through your systems.

Take stock of your systems

Doing a digital headcount of all the software and systems your association leans on won’t be hard. Just ask your staff what programs they work in. It’s important to ask everyone because you might uncover some surprises. Some staff might be using unauthorized programs, for example. Folks in one office might be using redundant or outdated tools. Seek out those disconnects and correct wherever possible.

Think about your goals

Before you start tweaking your tech, hit the pause button and ask yourself a question. What do you want your tech to do for you? That likely leads to two follow-up questions. “What isn’t it doing now?” and, ”how do we get our processes where we need them to be?”. Which brings us to the next section…

Consider hired help

Most people know how to drive a car but aren’t experts when it comes to what’s happening under the hood. In a similar vein, the association staff knows how to use their systems, but not how to set up or fix them. Consider turning to an IT pro or systems integration specialist. Even better, seek out a consultant who understands the association game. Work closely and communicate clearly with your IT person, so that you’ll be able to find the right solutions that work for you and your membership.

Tying all your loose process ends can be complicated. Yet, the most complicated aspect of association work is also the most important. If you need help sorting out your tangled tech, check out Frontline’s helpful checklist. This handy resource empowers you to find the ideal data system for your organization.