Sunday 19 May 2013 06:20 UTC
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I've spoken to Mike McP and am going to get information over to him, which will take a few days for me to collate. Anyone else wishing to assist please contact him.
One of the things I'm conscious of is that regardless of the voluntary aspect of this the EC need to be support it and we need to allocate some budget to it (even if everyone gives their services for free we will still need to fund some hardware and software). I'll therefore raise it as an agenda item at the next EC meeting on 18 February. Many thanks for the offers.
Luscombe 8 G-BTCH based at Popham. Pilot based in Savannah GA. AOPA UK Exec Committee Member.
I'm not proud - I'll steal from anyone - even from Derek
I've received a note from Keef and will certainly give it consideration, once I've got over the bl**dy flu
Notwithstanding the goodwill of any volunteers here, I would suggest they would better spend their time helping AOPA agree what it is that they need, and then buying something commercial.
This would be good because the problem with bespoke databases is that when the volunteer designer goes away, or needs to give his paying customers priority, then it's a real pain. Especially if there's a batch of Direct Debits to run and something is broken. Or if the rules change on Direct Debit processing (as they have over the last two years with Credit Card payments) then the author will have to come back in, or someone else will have to come and spend time (and money) understanding the original.
Instead, go and buy something like Subscriber.net with more than 200 membership organisations as customers, and pay for a support contract. No, I'm not connected with Subscriber.net. Yes, I have seen lots of bespoke databases in small and medium sized charities which are not fit for purpose and which no-one really knows how to sort it out.
Just my 2p worth
That's the good thing about a Forum like this where experts gather!
Subscriber.net has already been mentioned in the team (but keep 'em coming!).
Google reveals 32.6 million hits for "Membership Management Systems" so we may be gone for a while...
I think we're tacking it in the right way - what is there now, what's good/bad about that, what do we want more/different, and all the other questions you'd expect from a bunch of aviators.
If a bespoke system is invented (which is by no means certain), it will not be a one-man show that nobody else can update or extend when needed.
Moderatio in omnibus
In my view the volunteer group could best placed to review the over-arching needs and make a reasoned decision on the best product.
In my early training it was drilled into me in cases like this not just to look at the defined need but also the interfaces (electronic and otherwise) with other functions within the business. As I never worked in a commercial environment as such, it wasn't to sell more IT but so that we had a map of business processes and could use integrated packages to the best ability.
We also learnt to avoid snake-oil salesmen as our analysis was strong. Later on when our team went the way good teams do (sacked because the business didn't like hearing what we said), they fell into the hands of a series of salesmen and b*ll*xed up the business.
IT is a good servant but it needs to be dealt with rationally, avoiding egos and wannabees
I found this thread when searching to try and understand the fee structure of AOPA UK membership. Their much improved website doesn't state or explain the fee structure at all or even the amount until you reach the checkout page - Mike's explanation half way down this thread is the best I've seen.
Is this still valid (I.e. Same fees will apply in Jan 2011) or are the fees calculated pro-rata from the month you join?
Could this explanation be added to the website?
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I accept that the "Why you should join AOPA" page on the AOPA UK website doesn't explain the fee structure, but this was because it seemed to cause so much confusion when we did publish it and the page is cleaner without it.
Instead, when you go to the online application form you will see that the drop down selection of membership options is relevant only to the current month and states the type of membership, cost and expiry date. This is the first option on the application form, so you don't have to complete anything before you decide to apply to join (which we hope you will).
If you want to preview the fee structure for the next few months then this can be viewed by opening the paper application form from the "Why you should join AOPA" page (where I have added some words to this effect).
It is the intention to move to rolling membership in the new membership year, i.e. after April 2011, so the current, somewhat cumbersome, structure will cease to operate from that time.
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