The power of union management software to organize and grow your union

Labor unions have a powerful mission for working people. But union management isn’t easy. It requires clear focus on connecting with, organizing, and uniting union workers while continually attracting and retaining members. It also requires efficient and effective daily management of the organization.  
One of the most powerful things you can do to strengthen and grow your labor union is to have the right labor union software in place. Doing so can help you to:

Let’s look at what union management software is, what it can help your union achieve, what to look for in union software, and an example of an organization using union software in the real world.  

What is union management software?

Union management software includes capabilities that make it easier to attract and retain labor union members, manage your union membership data, and organize union members. Choosing the right union software gives you: 

  • A full range of functionality to help you easily find, engage, and organize union members
  • One system to manage your organization’s data and processes, including:
    • Capturing and tracking member data securely
    • Processing dues
    • Managing union member grievances
    • Coordinating events
    • Tracking and managing local unions
    • Running the reports you need to track progress and make informed decisions  
  • The flexibility to work anytime from anywhere while maintaining data integrity and accurate reporting as your union grows

TIP: As an industry leader with more than 25 years of experience, Aptify by Community Brands offers robust and feature-rich union management software. In addition to its full set of "out of the box" functionality, the Aptify architecture enables it to be easily configured and expanded to meet virtually any business process requirements for your labor union.

What can union management software help your organization achieve?

The right labor union software can help your organization work more efficiently and effectively to achieve your union’s mission. Here are three ways that union management software can help your union: 

1. Attract more union members.

Continually attracting union members is critically important for growing your organization and keeping it strong – especially when union membership rates are in decline. Today’s members and prospective members expect to be able to easily interact with organizations (including their labor union) online. For example, to provide a modern experience that attracts new members, you can use your union software to:

  • Allow members to engage with your organization from their mobile devices.
  • Set up a member-facing portal so that your union members can do things like manage payments, orders, and preferences; participate in discussion forums; and answer polls and surveys online.   
  • Deliver a faster, more streamlined member experience by using workflow automation to automatically route data and files between people and systems – giving you more time to provide the support your members expect. 

TIP: Aptify makes it easy for you to allow members to easily engage with your union from their mobile devices through a member-facing portal with single sign on access from your website.

2. Engage and retain union members.

An active and engaged member is more valuable to a union than someone who just pays dues. That’s why collecting, tracking, managing, and measuring your member data is crucial for strengthening your union. Union management software gives you:

  • Customer relationship management (CRM) capabilities so that your leaders can use the information being collected on your website and by activists in the field. The right union membership software is flexible and allows for easy configuration of fields, records, and online forms.
  • The ability to create and manage targeted communications and campaigns that help you reach members with important information and inspire them to advocate for the union and for themselves. 

TIP: Aptify allows you to send text messages to your members to remind them when it’s time to sign their union authorization card. This approach helps you to retain members and maintain your union qualification requirements each year.

  • The ability to measure and score member engagement. This functionality allows you to define key performance indicators (KPIs) and assign weights to member engagement based on those KPIs. Then, you can automatically assign engagement scores to each member, giving you insights that can help you identify opportunities, spot potential challenges, and adapt to changing member preferences and needs.

TIP: Aptify allows you to automatically score members based on KPIs and then schedule automations and actions based on the scores. The functionality is flexible, allowing you to set up any number of automated actions based on criteria you determine.

3. Work more efficiently and get more done for your members.

Using disparate tools or software with poor functionality for unions will only slow you down. With the right union management software, you’ll have a single system for your member data and processes, as well as process automation capabilities, to keep you running smoothly and efficiently. Plus, everyone in your organization – from locals to national leadership – can access the data they need, when they need it, from any device.

Here are some specific ways that union management software can help you work more efficiently:

  • Centralized data – Using multiple disparate systems to store data and manage processes can waste time, as your leaders and staff must track down and compile information from multiple systems just to manage daily processes. Union software allows you to manage member and financial information in one convenient location.
  • Anytime, anywhere access – The right union management software will allow you to find and organize members using a mobile app, giving you access to the information and analytics you need, when you need it.
  • Streamlined processes – With the right union software, not only is your member data in one place, but your organization also has a single system to manage tasks – from billing and dues processing to member grievance management – so your leaders can spend more time providing member support. It also allows you automate processes, which frees up time for higher value work.
  • Efficient reporting – You can view, report on, and interact with data in real time. So, instead of spending time pulling together information from multiple systems, you can quickly view key organizational metrics each day. You’ll have the business insights you need at your fingertips to help you make faster, more informed decisions that drive your organization forward.

TIP: Aptify allows you to enable self-service for your local organizations. They can pull reports and access content through an online portal, making them more self-sufficient and better able to organize locally.

What should you look for in union management software?

Your union management software should include both membership management and union-specific functionality. Here are nine things to look for in union software: 

1. Comprehensive functionality for unions – You should have the functionality you need to manage your union’s processes, from accounting/dues processing and grievance management to membership and local/affiliate management – all in one system.

For example, Aptify is an enterprise-level solution with the foundational membership management functionality your union needs.

2. A single, centralized database – Make sure the software allows you to collect and track union membership and financial information in a single database so that you always have access to a complete and accurate view of vital data.

With Aptify, for instance, you can capture and track union membership and financial information in one system. Aptify’s powerful search functionality allows your team to search for member information across the entire database. The result: Your organization works more efficiently by using one access point to your member data.

3. An easy-to-use system – Even non-technical staff should be able to access data and complete day-to-day work without needing to ask your IT team for help.

For example, Aptify makes it easy to run reports, create dashboards, and manage member data so your staff doesn’t need IT assistance just to manage processes and access the data they need each day. That means non-technical staff can work more efficiently while your IT team can stay focused on ensuring your systems support your business processes.

4. Mobile access – Look for a system that gives you and your members access to data and process management anytime from anywhere. For example, with Aptify’s mobile app, your staff has quick and convenient access to data from the office or the field.

5. E-business capabilities – The system should allow you to manage payments, orders, and member preferences; offer discussion forums; conduct member polls and surveys; and enable self-service for local unions – all through an online portal.

For example, you can bring Aptify’s full set of features to your members’ online portal while securing data based on each member’s level of access.

6. Process automation – Look for a system with tools that allow you to automate manual processes, giving your members a more streamlined experience while giving you more time to focus on higher-value work.

For example, Aptify’s drag-and-drop process flow editor allows you to easily automate processes, such as incoming inquiries and grievance management.

7. A flexible platform – As your organization evolves, so must your technology. Look for a platform that can handle even the most complex business processes to meet your union’s changing needs.

For example, Aptify is highly customizable. It allows for easy changes and upgrades, increasing the speed of development for configurations and new applications — helping your IT team work more efficiently to meet your organization’s growing demands for application configuration and development.

8. Efficient, reliable reporting – The software should allow you to easily view, report on, and interact with data about your union’s activities, local unions, events, and more. Look for built-in reports and dashboards that allow you to drill into data for more details.

For example, Aptify includes hundreds of built-in reports and dashboards, many of which allow you to drill down into each piece of data directly from the dashboard for more information.

9. Security – Look for union management software that keeps your data safe with solid backup and disaster recovery plans. For instance, Aptify provides a strong security foundation and supports data security best practices. 

TIP: Let your members know you have data privacy and security standards in place. Also, explain how the information you collect will be used for a better and more personalized experience, and your members are more likely to trust you. That trust will then lead to a longer, more productive member experience.

Example of using union management software in the real world

It can help to understand the capabilities and value of union software by seeing how other labor unions are using it. Here is an example: 

The Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA)  

ALPA represents and advocates for more than 61,000 pilots at 34 U.S. and Canadian airlines, making it the world’s largest airline pilot union. In partnership with Aptify, ALPA provides solutions that allow its staff to work more efficiently and members to more easily access membership benefits and participate in union-sponsored programs.  

With the help of Aptify, ALPA automated processes to synchronize employment records, reconcile monthly dues bills, and provide accurate and timely bills. Working with Aptify, ALPA developed a customized solution to streamline the process around union-sponsored insurance products. 

Also, in the past, ALPA staff members had to submit requests to the IT department to develop the reports and data they needed – frequently resulting in delayed responses to member inquiries. Today, staff can easily and quickly develop reports that allow them to respond to information requests in a fraction of the time. 

Learn more: Read the ALPA case study 

Find the right union management software for your organization

With the right software, you can help to ensure your union is ready to grow and thrive. Aptify is built for unions like yours. It’s configurable, flexible, and powerful membership and union management software that fits the way your organization works. Take the next steps to find the right union management software for your union.

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