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Relationships Drive Each Facet of a Trade Association - Including its Managed IT Services

Posted by Mandy Cech on May 18, 2016 8:48:20 AM
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IBOAI, a Trade Association that bridges individuals and enterprise, emphasizes the importance of relationships in all facets of their business. They wanted a technology partner who they could count on for the long term.

Relationships drive business - from small to enterprise. IBOAI recognizes that value, and it bridges the gap between Independent Business Owners (IBOs) and corporation. The Independent Business Owners Association International (IBOAI) represents hundreds of thousands of IBOs for Amway, the largest direct sales company in the world.

The IBOAI staff support the functions of the Association. They organize quarterly strategic meetings, facilitate education, and advocate for the Business Owners. Each employee focuses on a functional role - finance, events, and operations. Sandy Chapman, the Manager of Operations, keeps the Association responsive to the needs of the Business Owners. Part of her role is to ensure they have the right technology resources. 

When it comes to technology, Sandy needs a partner she can trust. Her background is not in IT, so she asks vendors to make recommendations based on their expertise. She needs someone to understand the IBOAI – their business and values – and make technology decisions from there.


“Our business is very relationship-based. That’s why a trusted partner is so valuable. We want to work as more than a customer and a vendor. Any company we work with should act like an extension of our organization.”

Sandy Chapman, Operations Manager at IBOAI




Daily IT support. 

Someone needs to set up the computers, install new programs, and establish a network for data storage. With technology increasingly vital to daily business, Sandy needs someone to understand IBOAI’s infrastructure and keep it running.

End users with varied – but high - expectations.

While IBOAI works on behalf of all the Independent Business Owners, Sandy’s team interacts closely with close to 100 of the top executives. These Business Owners represent their peers and show leadership to their colleagues. They come to the IBOAI offices to meet, conduct work, and build a strategy. While there, they need to connect personal devices with the resources (like Internet and printing) at the IBOAI offices. Each Board or Committee member has a different familiarity with technology, but they all expect quality and efficiency.

Trust: the most valuable resource.

The team at IBOAI frequently uses advanced technologies (think tablets or digital whiteboards), and they need the new products to work with their other systems. But how to make that happen? They want to count on experts to answer that question. Sandy wants to share her problem and count on honesty from technology experts to share what they see as the best path for IBOAI.

Our approach to answering Sandy's technology questions and challenges involed insight, clarity, and enablement. Starting with research (Insight), our team worked to fully understand the current state of technology for IBOAI. From this point, we were much better positioned to develop clear and focused strategies for achieving desired outcomes together (Clarity)Finally, with a well-informed strategic roadmap, our team has worked closely with Sandy to implement solutions (Enablement).



When Sandy started working with Springthrough, she had a relationship with some team members, but we started building a deeper relationship. Over time, we gained her trust and continue to take on responsibilities for IBOAI.


“The people at Springthrough try to understand the dynamics of our business and the personalities of our Board members. They care and understand. They have the technical expertise, but more importantly, their personalities fit our culture.”

Sandy Chapman, Operations Manager at IBOAI



Because of our transparent relationship with Sandy, we can talk with her about what’s working and what’s not. What do they need today? What do they need tomorrow? With a strategy in place, our work aligns with Sandy’s goals.



1. IT Support and Managed Services.

We set up a support agreement to provide the IT help Sandy and her team needs on a day-to-day basis. If they run into a question or need a new computer, they give us a call. We understand their world. During the quarterly board meetings, they have close to 100 people on-site who need access to technology. On those days, we go to their office in-person to respond to challenges right away.

2. A Sophisticated Approach to Technology.

IBOAI finds value in leading the way with business technology – particularly when it comes to their executive meetings. We help them research and set up new technologies to improve the efficiency and ease for members. Through this relationship, we built a reputation with the Board members and now serve the personal technology needs of the executive leadership.

3. Trusted Advisors.

Part of our role is to be a sounding board for Sandy. Throughout our work, we’ve built a deep understanding of their technology infrastructure, so we understand the impact of potential changes. Even with services that we don’t offer, Sandy trusts our recommendations and referrals.



More than technology support, we serve the business goals of IBOAI. Members shouldn’t even notice the seamless IT experience because without distractions, they can focus on the quality work IBOAI does on their behalf.


Technologies We Use

  • HP Servers
  • Microsoft Server
  • VMWare
  • Cisco Networking
  • HP Networking
  • Mondo Pad
  • Remote Applications
  • Hosting Solutions


AMDG Architects Managed IT Services Case Study

Topics: IT Services: Back to basics

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