Heather Swink, CAE, M.A.

American Society for Laser Medicine & Surgery

.orgSource Assist ASLMS With Technology Overhaul

Last month, the American Society for Laser Medicine & Surgery unveiled its new integrated technology system: a redesigned and reorganized website, a Content Management System (CMS), and a new Association Management System (AMS). The launch of the website and both systems culminates a three-year technology journey, of which .orgSource played an integral role.  

In 2013, .orgSource conducted a comprehensive technology assessment of the ASLMS’ management systems and website. It then evaluated technology requirements, created a request for proposal and helped select the appropriate vendors for both systems and the website designer.

Also, .orgSource helped revamp the website’s navigation system and content throughout the site. In addition, .orgSource assisted ASLMS with the transition and implementation of the new technology.

“.orgSource has served as an indispensable resource during our entire technology planning process,” says Andrea Alstad, ASLMS’ marketing and communications manager. “They have been our partners from day one, helping us drive our technology transformation—from strategy and prioritization to resource allocation and ultimately the selection and implementation of technology solutions.”

The new systems and custom-built website respond to ASLMS’ long-time challenge: how to use technology to efficiently and effectively help create customer value across targeted market segments.

“In order to preserve ASLMS’ past and enable its future, the functionality gaps as well as lack of integration and flexibility of the association’s technology had to be addressed,” says .orgSource Founder and President Sherry Budziak. “The void of integrated technology created duplicative processes and inefficiencies.

The initial technology assessment revealed many shortcomings. It found that the:

  • AMS was inefficient and could not meet current needs—let alone expectations for the future. For instance, within the AMS, it was difficult to add fields such as a specialty to the membership directory or update member information; it could not accommodate membership with “end dates” (like students) or a “zero dollar” membership category; it was unable to track activity points; changes incurred modification charges; generating reports required specialized knowledge or assistance, membership billing was unreliable; it even was difficult to determine the exact membership count.
  • Lack of a CMS limited growth. The absence of a CMS hindered the development of targeted content resources and limited the website’s content capabilities and flexibility. A CMS would facilitate providing valued website content on a timely basis.
  • Website needed an improved organization system, search capabilities, specialized portals (e.g. nursing/allied health), customization, enhanced use of multimedia, online communities, more revenue generational (online store and cross-selling capabilities), a more modern look and feel, and a mobile-friendly/responsive design.

ASLMS’ comprehensive technology changes support several of ASLMS’ strategic priorities:

  • Integrated, customer-centric systems that are efficient, easy to use
  • Minimal dependence on IT skills, ability for staff to be more self-sufficient
  • Expand content resources, educational offerings and engagement
  • Provide content in formats and at times desired by users
  • Customize and target content to multiple user segments
  • Develop revenue base for e-learning, e.g., webinars
  • Create a “go-to” website for information and updates
  • Help compete for membership dollars with both individual discipline associations and other laser  and energy-based medical associations

“ASLMS’ digital transformation was a big undertaking considering the staff and budget commitment to multiple system selections, implementations, third-party integrations and complex requirements," Alstad says. "But all agree it was very much a worthwhile endeavor. ASLMS is now better able to demonstrate its value to members and respond to the needs of its many target audiences.”

Check out the new aslms.org for more information about the new functionality.

About ASLMS: Based in Wausau, Wisc., the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery, Inc., was founded in 1980 and is the world’s largest professional organization dedicated to promoting research, education and high standards of clinical care in the field of medical laser and energy-based applications. ASLMS has more than 4,200 members.

Membership includes physicians and surgeons representing more than 51 medical specialties, nurses and other allied health care professionals,  physicists, biomedical engineers, biologists, and equipment manufacturers. 

Author: 
Heather Swink, CAE, M.A.