10 Reasons —
Why An Association Would
Outsource Some or All of Its
Operational Activities to A P E X . . .
- Increased Efficiency, Productivity and Effectiveness.
- Reduced Costs of Operations, Capital Requirements, and Overhead.
- Freedom from Problems, Stress and Costs Associated With Hiring and Managing People.
- Freedom from Detail.
- Enhanced Image.
- Protection From Disasters.
- Smooth and Successful Conferences.
- Economies of Scale.
- One Stop Shopping.
- Benefit of Knowledge and Experience from Other Association Clients.
How? Take a Look —
Conference Planning: Conference Planning is a complex, detailed and stressful undertaking. A thousand things must go just right, yet it only takes one or two things to go wrong for disaster to occur. It takes experience together with skills in negotiating, planning, organizing, directing, controlling and computer technology to ensure success.
Savings. With our experience and sophisticated technology, we can assure you of not only a smooth and successful conference, but we'll do it at a fraction of the cost that you're used to. The bargaining power of a large base together with our experience and skills in negotiating contracts, result in significant savings for hotel accommodations, meeting space, catering and transportation.
Disaster Prevention. Our experience will free you from the worry of a registration in total disarray, fouled up logistics for seminars and exhibits, or inadequate hotel accommodations and meeting space.
Our experience in site selection and negotiating hotel contracts will also protect you from incurring penalties due to inaccurate guarantees and insufficient escape clauses in the contract (we've seen penalties in excess of $100,000).
Database Services: Data management is the heart of any association. Our database technology is second to none.
Savings. And you won't need to hire an expensive programmer who knows little about associations, to design and/or modify your database. We do it all. And we have an extensive inventory of already developed applications.
Information at Your Fingertips. Our skills and technology will not only streamline your operations but provide you with more useful information (better reports, and better data analysis for marketing purposes). We'll maintain not only membership records, but track prospective members, speakers, exhibitors, and advertisers as well. Truly, information at your fingertips.
Disaster Prevention. Inexperience can result in lost or destroyed databases. This can be extremely expensive. Our experience and rigorous backup procedures will assure you against data disasters.
Desktop Publishing & Editing: Publications like brochures, directories, newsletters, etc. are an association's lifeline to existing and potential members. They represent you to the outside world. They should reflect the image that you want to project. This is where we come in.
Image. Our creativity and dedication to quality will guarantee and protect your image which is so valuable to you and to us.
Professionalism. We have experienced and creative professionals whereas many associations simply leave their publishing needs to an inexperienced jack of all trades or farm it out to very expensive graphic artists.
Savings. We do all our own work and have a great many software packages and already developed templates. We'll provide all of your publication needs for considerable less than you could farm it out to a stand alone publishing/graphics artist company. And, our leverage with printing companies and our tough negotiating skills can mean additional savings.
Computers and Software: Computer technology is no longer a luxury but a requirement for associations. Master it and you can greatly cut costs and improve quality and effectiveness. Unfortunately, computers and software are changing so fast it's almost impossible to keep up. What computers are the best? The Cheapest? What about software? What applications are the best? For accounting? For publishing? For database work? When should you up-grade? Should you network? How? What operating system?
Save Time and Money. Don't waste time trying to keep up with the technology. We'll do it for you. Our experience and knowledge with computers is second to none. Your productivity will soar and you'll save considerably. Save capital costs, since we already have an extensive array of computers, software, and other office equipment.
Training. We can provide all your computer needs, or we can provide some of your needs and train your people at a fraction of the cost that you'll spend elsewhere.
Finance/Accounting: Accounting and Finance are areas that are typically given low priority. They require arcane skills and are often viewed as a distasteful task. For these reasons, associations typically hire a "bookkeeper" or farm out the activity to an accounting firm. But there is nothing that can bring an organization down faster that poor financial planning.
Bookkeepers are economical, but usually do not have the skills or the tools to do good financial planning. We believe that Financial planning and management is much more than just record keeping or historical accounting. You need the forecasting, planning and analytical capability of an experienced Financial Professional.
CPA firms are another alternative. However, this too has it's downside. A survey of small businesses listed a failure to provide meaningful managerial support from a team member perspective as their number one complaint of their accounting firm. Another study supporting this view found that accountants typically were good at determining if rules were followed but were not well suited to unstructured situations.
The IPS solution:
Experience. We at IPS are experienced financial managers. We have been providing advise to billion dollar corporations across the country for over ten years.
Integration. Because we are an integral part of the association management and because we are financial managers, we should be able to develop a superior financial plan which focuses on the future and not just the past.
Check and Balance. By utilizing IPS for accounting and financial planning and a CPA firm for year-end audits, you'll have a good check and balance.
Savings. We'll provide your accounting and financial needs for a fraction of the cost of farming it out to a CPA firm.
Technology. We have put over a millions dollars worth of development time into proprietary strategic and financial planning models which we have adapted to associations. We'll help you develop the best short and long term plans, budgets, forecasts, financial controls and reports, cash and investment management that money can buy. But in less time, with less resources and for less cost.
Management: Can strategic planning improve your organizational effectiveness? Is TQM a viable option? Can your organization be reorganized to function better? Need help with job descriptions? With employment contracts? With salary analysis based on industry averages? IPS can help.
Experience. I have written articles and given seminars on strategic planning and management techniques around the country for the last fifteen years. You don't need to hire an expensive consultant. We already incorporate sound management practices without additional costs.
Information Source. Having trouble with new Board Members getting overly involved with people in operations (micro-managing the association)? With new directors who do not understanding where their responsibilities as board members start and end? IPS provides a booklet delineating board member responsibilities and guidelines. It has eliminated a lot of problems with other associations.
THE BOTTOM LINE —
The bottom line is success - YOURS. Our number one goal is to make your organization a total success. Give us a Try. You won't regret it.
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- Office Management
- Answering Service
- "800" Telephone Line with 24 hour Answering Service
- Membership Inquiries–Verbal Information & Mailing of New Membership Packets
- Coordinate Communications for Executive Committee, Board of Directors and Members.
- Database Maintenance
- Membership Roster/Labels
- Financial Information
- Statistics (as needed)
- Miscellaneous Office
- Statistics (as needed)
- Photocopying & Other Office Related
- Newsletter & Brochure Production/Circulation
- Processing Initial Application
- Membership Card/Welcome Packet
- Inform Committee Chairs of Interested Members
- Annual Renewals
- Renewal Notices/Final Notices
- New Membership Cards/Letter
- Annual Conference
- Process Registrations
- Clerical Support (Mailing Registration Forms/Assemble Packets/Mail)
- Produce Name Badges
- Registration Support (Lap Top Computer)
- Set up/Break Down Registration Area
- Verify Paid Memberships/Registration Fees
- Accept New Memberships/On-Site Registration Fees
- Produce Name Tags for "3" above
- Assist with Audio Visual Equipment, Supplies, Messages
- Produce and Distribute Certificates of Attendance
- Internet Development and Maintenance
- Strategic Planning Facilitation
- Financial Management
- Check Writing/Paying Bills
- Deposits, Bank Reconciliation
- Audits (not year-end)
- Tracking Registrations/Fees
- Budgets, Var. Reports, Five Year Plans, etc.
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For seven of these fifteen years, I was Executive Director of a 7,000 member international drug and clinical research association. I was responsible for all operational and administrative activities. I produced, printed and distributed a quarterly 100 page newsletter and an 80 page medical research journal. I planned, organized and directed annual conferences (with 2,000 + participants and 150 + exhibits), certification exams and regional workshops. I assisted in the preparation of certification exams and developed applications for obtaining continuing education provider approvals through various educational institutions. I developed and implemented the strategic, financial and marketing plans.
Over seven years, I achieved annual growth rates of 20% for membership, 25% for revenues and 28% for cash flow. I also built up and managed a $650,000 investment portfolio. I increased advertising revenues from $2,000/year to $100,000/year and produced an average net income of $100,000 per annual conference. I accomplished these milestones with a staff that was 1/3rd the size of comparable associations as reflected in industry association surveys.
I was also Executive Director of a 2,500 member state wide business association. I was hired to turn around a negative situation where the organization had a deteriorating image, was losing members in alarming numbers and hemorrhaging money.
Within one year I replaced most of the staff, improved the organization's image, increased membership and started to make money. I also established an excellent working relationship with the Governor and his staff (since all legislative activities were under my direction including staff lobbyist and outside lobbyist).
I have outstanding support personnel with expertise in multiple disciplines. For example, assisting me in many areas is Jerry K. Olson, CEO of Integrated Planning Systems, Inc. and partner in APEX. Mr. Olson, who has clients all over the USA, has an MBA, a BSME, and a BSBA in Finance, Investment Banking, Mechanical Engineering, Production Management, and Operations Research. He has over twenty years experience with Strategic and Financial Planning, Business and Market Development, Merger & Acquisition, Computer Development, Technology Assessment & Implementation, Project Management, Re-engineering and Total Quality Management. He has authored articles on strategic planning and computer technology, lectured at numerous conventions and seminars, and has been use as an "Expert Witness" (provided testimony) with regard to strategic and financial analyses on many occasions. In addition, I have developed an outstanding group of dedicated and highly skilled support professionals who would be available for support work as needed.
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Desktop Publishing and Editing (enhance your image and save money)
Our expertise in project management resulted in meeting every single publication deadline. By doing all our publishing in-house (newsletter, journal, advertising and marketing copy, etc.) we gained total control over the quality of print materials and saved typesetting costs of between $60 and $90 per hour.
Meeting Planning (save money and enjoy a positive conference experience)
A successful annual meeting is crucial to an association's success because 1) participants happily communicate great experiences to others, and 2) and more importantly, participants will communicate negative experiences up to ten times more often than positive ones (this is so because participants expect a high level of service and competence and are surprised and angered by problems and foul-ups). Our organizational and planning skills resulted in some of the highest satisfaction ratings in association history of conferences (as reflected in end of conference surveys). The conferences were not only efficient but profitable as well, averaging $100,000 net income per conference. All meeting planning was performed in-house, without the use of "professional conference planners." Outsourcing conference planning is extremely expensive ranging upwards of $100 per participant.
Negotiating Skills (save money)
Our negotiating skills saved hundreds of thousands of dollars in hotel contracts for both sleeping room rates for meeting participants (off-book charges) and other hotel contracts and guaranteed minimums (on book charges). I negotiated reductions in our publishing contracts saving over $50,000 per year for two publications.
Computer Expertise (don't take chances, expertise here is critical to association success)
Knowledge of computers is critical. It pervades every aspect of association management. A failure to understand back-up procedures alone could bring an association to its knees. We are Microsoft channel partners and solution providers. We are not only well versed in the latest software, hardware and Internet technologies, but will have access to the latest developments and the best training available.
Some of the software that we work with are listed below:
- Database Administration
- Desktop Publishing
- Web Page Development
- Project Management
- Technical troubleshooting
Internet (greater service, less cost)
The Internet is ideally suited for and will eventually revolutionize association management. However, most associations today that have WEB sites typically present simple content pages that are only infrequently updated. My vision for Internet use goes way beyond this model. I envision a sophisticated three tiered interactive system which is where improved services and cost savings are found. This would include database access, calendaring of events, E-mail and chat rooms, collaboration, electronic newsletter, and on-line member and event registration. New developments in voice and video over IP will bring economic solutions to the Internet in the very near future.
Already Developed Applications and Procedures (no need to re-invent the wheel)
Our office efficiency allowed us to do more than what comparable associations do with 1/3rd the size of their staff as reflected in industry association surveys).
Legislative Affairs and Fund Raising (experience pays dividends) Our experience with legislative and lobbying activities will also benefit your association regardless of whether you do an lobbying. We also have a significant amount experience with fund raising activities.
Training and Certification (experience here will have many carryover benefits)
We have developed, planned, coordinated and implemented training programs, certification programs and assisted in the preparation of certification exams. We also have experience in developing applications for obtaining continuing education provider approval as well.
Accounting and Financial Planning (save time & money)
We performed all accounting functions in-house which saved our clients between $80 to $150 per hour in accounting fees. Our financial systems were closely integrated with the database which saved considerable time and money by eliminating duplicated steps. I developed complete monthly, quarterly, and annual statements including variance reports, graphs and charts. I developed custom software for projecting five-year financial plans as well as programs that helped me manage a $650,000 investment portfolio.
Assistance with Board Activities (make it easy on yourself)
Our organizational and business skills will also be valuable in assisting the board.
- Strategic Planning: I've been through many strategic planning sessions for many organizations–helping to define issues and determining what the organization wants to be and where it wants to go.
- Committee Assistance: I directed or assisted fourteen committees and maintained relationships with other organizations. I know how to get things done.
- Board Manual: I have always provided new board members with a booklet to help board members understand their responsibilities, the relationship of various roles and the appropriate procedures for conducting non-profit business.
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