Based in Wausau, Wisc., the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery, Inc. (ASLMS), 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.
A response was needed to ASLMS’ long-time challenge: how to use technology to efficiently and effectively help create customer value across targeted market segments. ASLMS wanted to address functionality gaps as well as its lack of integration and flexibility. The void of integrated technology created duplicative processes and inefficiencies. It looked to partners to create an integrated technology system: a redesigned and reorganized website, a Content Management System (CMS), and a new Association Management System (AMS).
In 2013, .orgSource conducted a comprehensive technology assessment of the ASLMS’ management systems and website.
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.
.orgSource then evaluated technology requirements, created a request for proposal and helped select the appropriate vendors for both systems and the website designer.
.orgSource also 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.
The launch of the website and both systems culminated a three-year technology journey, of which .orgSource played an integral role.
“.orgSource has served as an indispensable resource during our entire technology planning process,” says Andrea Alstad, ASLMS’ then-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.”
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