Highly effective associations require highly effective people who are empowered and motivated to provide excellent service. Therefore, a critical success factor for associations is being able to provide their staff with a harmonious working environment, the right tools and ample support so they can be as satisfied, productive and effective as possible.
As the world's leading association management and professional services company, we offer associations a robust, comprehensive headquarters infrastructure, which includes office facilities, technology, human resources, and financial management. We offer association executives and managers the ability to leverage valuable resources not typically available to most standalone associations, delivering benefits including:
Setting up and maintaining a headquarters office can be expensive. Costs for space, office equipment, technology, outside services, insurance and other necessary requirements add up quickly. It can be also be prohibitively expensive to keep infrastructure elements current. With SmithBucklin, your organization can take advantage of an infrastructure that was built to support hundreds of organizations. Our fee structure for infrastructure services is straightforward, predictable and could yield substantial cost savings. And our client organizations benefit from being in a premier location in downtown Chicago or Washington, D.C., but at a fraction of the cost.
Peace of Mind/Risk Mitigation
By tapping into SmithBucklin's extensive resource base and professional expertise, your organization can mitigate the following risks:
- Financial—Associations do not have to purchase capital equipment or enter into long-term or onerous contracts with vendors. They enjoy access to the most current and productive office infrastructure at a fraction of the cost and financial commitment, while also benefiting from time-tested financial controls and practices that ensure the highest levels of integrity and reliability.
- Operational—SmithBucklin has committed significant resources to ensure reliability, security and back-up protection for its operations and infrastructure. In addition to preventative safeguards, SmithBucklin professionals are available at all times to respond to immediate problems or emergencies.
Staff Effectiveness and Leverage
In most standalone associations, the chief staff executive and/or other key managers are required to spend time on many necessary but mundane administrative, headquarters and infrastructure tasks. For example, a standalone chief staff executive can spend as much as 40 percent of his/her time dealing with the office lease, ordering supplies, performing HR functions, negotiating with vendors, addressing computer/telephone problems and a variety of other tedious tasks that add little toward advancing the mission of the organizations they serve. At SmithBucklin, our chief staff executives and staff teams focus 100 percent of their time on the "business" of the associations they serve. Therefore, turning to SmithBucklin for infrastructure services allows your organization's staff executives and managers the ability to focus their time on more important issues and activities such as member service and programs, communication, industry relations and strategic initiatives, while at the same time receiving onsite support for all of the operational needs of the association.
By partnering with SmithBucklin,your organization will have access to "just-in-time" generalist and specialist staff resources, offering the flexibility to change, expand, or downsize staff resources quickly and without the burden of firing or hiring. Our infrastructure solutions also provide cost-effective approaches to staffing one-time projects, or satisfying highly specialized, "part-time" staffing requirements.
Access to SmithBucklin's Intellectual Capital
Associations working with us are able to leverage the insight and best practices across all of our client organizations, including tools, methodologies and lessons learned. We can help current and future staff members shorten learning curves, seize opportunities, and avoid pitfalls or simply "reinventing the wheel." SmithBucklin is entirely focused on the support, caring and growth of the associations we serve. We understand the unique needs, requirements and challenges of association staff and volunteer leaders. Whatever your size, scope or level of requirements, SmithBucklin offers a complete set of headquarters infrastructure resources. Because of our size and depth of capabilities, we are extremely flexible; customizing pricing and service arrangements to fit your specific needs and requirements.
SmithBucklin has headquarter offices located in downtown Chicago and Washington, D.C. Like many large metropolitan areas, the areas attract a highly educated, upwardly mobile and energetic workforce, providing a significant recruiting advantage to our client organizations.
Our offices provide an aesthetically pleasing and highly functional environment. Professional offices and staff support areas are specifically designed to meet the needs of any association, from offices and furnishings, to a full service mail room, to friendly and responsive receptionists. Office equipment, including copiers, fax machines and printers, are strategically located throughout the space. Access to telephones, fax machines, online databases, Internet and e-mail are available according to client needs. Board rooms, as well as numerous meeting rooms, are also available for client organization use, including SmithBucklin’s Client Conference Center in Chicago. This state-of-the-art meeting facility was designed for and is used exclusively by volunteer leaders of SmithBucklin client organizations. Facilities also include a technology infrastructure that includes servers, network, software, licenses and upgrades as appropriate.
SmithBucklin offers a complete set of technology services, including operations, hardware, software, Web services, applications development, help desk support and training. We provide associations with state-of-the-art, cost-effective technology solutions to support strategic, operational and membership requirements and opportunities. Our technology foundation is supported by experienced computer and network professionals and includes: iMIS, the leading membership system; Web-based tools, applications and expertise to promote your organization as well as extend, enhance and personalize the member experience and value proposition; the latest in hardware and Microsoft XP® and Microsoft Office® software; email and high-speed Internet access; a 24x7 Help Desk to support for all offices, clients and Web site users; disaster recovery and backup, online storage, and more than 60 Windows NT servers for LAN, WAN, and Web networks.
Full-Service Human Resources Function
SmithBucklin offers a full-service human resource department of highly skilled staff who know the association management industry. SmithBucklin and its partners can provide your organization services which include payroll administration, benefits administration, compensation services, recruiting and staffing, employee relations, compliance reporting and filing, employee orientation and training, and legal services. Knowledge, experience and depth in this area help mitigate your financial, operational and legal risks.
Financial Management & Accounting
Specializing in non-profit accounting, SmithBucklin offers flexible systems, comprehensive controls and practices, decision support tools and a team of professional staff to support the full-range of financial management and accounting requirements of any association.