AHP

Product Savvy Consulting, LLC ran a series of focus groups to determine user requirements for a new technology platform. They then built the platform and continue to maintain it.

THE REVIEWER

CEO, Association for Healthcare Philanthropy


THE PROJECT

Web-Platform Development for Membership Association


THE REVIEW

"I feel like this is cliché to say but it feels like they’re true partners."


Project summary:

Product Savvy Consulting, LLC ran a series of focus groups to determine user requirements for a new technology platform. They then built the platform and continue to maintain it.


Feedback summary:

Beyond delivering technical requirements, Product Savvy Consulting, LLC leveraged their expertise within various aspects of the client’s business, cementing themselves as an ongoing growth partner. Their ability to educate and handle both product development and technology stands out.


BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the CEO of the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy, a membership association. We serve approximately 5,000 fundraisers that raise money for hospitals and systems, mainly across the US and Canada.


OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Product Savvy Consulting, LLC?

We realized that the business model for many associations, which is mostly event-driven and membership-dues-driven, wasn’t providing as much as we could, particularly because we have an annual benchmarking survey that produces data that we don’t do much with. We conceived of a different type of membership model that would help us take much better advantage of the data, help our members manipulate the data to get good insights, and then add a bunch of services. We needed a combination of product development support and technical development of the actual technology platform that was going to be the engine for the data side.


SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

They started by doing a series of focus groups and other discovery work. I’d done some interviewing of members to find out what it was they were looking for, but we really needed someone external to get honest feedback. On top of that, they figured out what the feedback actually meant in terms of how to build something to address it. They were also key in getting our board to agree to the plan. We’ve since launched the platform they built and are now in a maintenance phase while we dream about what’s next. The solution is a web-based platform with a bunch of integrations with our CRM, where most of the data sits. They also built other components that fed into it. It’s not a standard marketing website, more of a web-based tool.


What is the team composition?

In the beginning, we worked entirely with Andy (Partner). He was able to take kernels of ideas and bring them together into something that really felt like a full-blown product. He did a lot of the storyboarding of the platform, determining how things would work together. Once we all signed off, he brought on the tech team, including Dave (CTO) and his software engineers. They’ve been fantastic in terms of their dedication to our work. They’ve even led some change work done by our other partners that we weren’t sure they’d work on at the beginning.


How did you come to work with Product Savvy Consulting, LLC?

I’d worked with Andy in the past and so went to him when I was thinking about this, just to get his advice. Way before we talked about price or their involvement, Andy was willing to brainstorm with me. He never asked to be paid for the time, even though he spent a full day with me. After that, it made sense to go with them. We looked at a couple of other firms but they didn’t have sills at both technology and product conceptualization and development. Product Savvy has good expertise on both sides.


How much have you invested with them?

We’ve spent around $400,000 so far.


What is the status of this engagement?

We’ve been working together since March 2019.


RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

We’ve had, to date, 20 of our member organizations take the next step and invest more in their membership to access the tool. It’s been a nice revenue boost for us, and it’s given us the ability to understand the data that we receive better. This way, we can tell which membership organizations are truly best-in-class at annual giving fundraising and major gift fundraising. We’re planning on interviewing those members right now and using them for education. Given that we’re not able to do live events right now, it’s important that we have an alternative value proposition. We look like we knew something was coming, especially since our members are trying to raise money for healthcare right now, which is struggling probably more than at any point in our history.


How did Product Savvy Consulting, LLC perform from a project management standpoint?

It went very well and continues too. We have weekly meetings that look at our progress and assess risks. They communicate well through hiccups and unforeseen glitches. It did take longer than anticipated to launch the platform but it was less about them and more about all the components that had to be tied together to make it work. They did a great job of pivoting their work schedules to allow us to do the necessary work on our side.


What did you find most impressive about them?

I feel like this is cliché to say but it feels like they’re true partners. This project and product and our membership mean almost as much to them as it does to us. This isn’t the case with other vendors I don’t think. They even look for ways to help us reframe sales pitches if we’re struggling. We even invited them to our staff Christmas party. Thanks to their education about product development, we’re much more capable of handling a lot of this stuff than we were one year ago.


Are there any areas they could improve?

The only one I can think of, which is what everyone says, is that they could be less expensive, but I fell that they’re giving us fair value. I really don’t have any complaints at all. They have enough different skills in their skill set that it’s clear that we always need them, no matter how much we learn.


Do you have any advice for potential customers?

They do best when they understand the strategic goal of the entire project. As an organization, give them the best understanding of your business needs and goals as you can. We talked about our members' cares and worries, treating it as if we were onboarding a chief strategy officer. Andy is incredibly creative, and I could see people bringing them on for one piece of technology work, but we’ve gotten the most value out of them by showing them all of our systems.