If you’ve ever managed an awards program manually, you know just how time-intensive the whole process can be. You probably remember the joy of discovering awards management software and how it can do much of the busy work for you. And if you’ve found Award Force, the double joy of discovering it can be even faster, saving you countless hours and headaches.
While we know not everyone uses Award Force to manage their awards program, here are 10 features we think every awards manager should be using to save time, reduce error and remove stress when managing entries for an awards program.
1. Search + filter to find entries you need fast
Need to find all your awards entries from a specific region? Or only the ones who have submitted payment? Or, perhaps you need to see all entries that are still in progress so you can send an email reminding them to complete their entry. It’s important to take advantage of search functionality. Almost all of the areas within Award Force have an Advanced search filter available which makes looking up and narrowing down results a breezy, time-saving experience.
2. Create saved views
If you find yourself creating the same advanced searches time and again, save your filtered searches and views for quick reference. In Award Force, you can use Saved views to quickly apply your most used advanced searches without needing to set individual search criteria every time.
You can also save your column, filtering and ordering preferences for the list view in Award Force – a huge time-saver that enables you to see exactly what you want to see, every time. And, (new feature!) can also sort by field – a great way to organise entries by a specific entry field.
As an added bonus, you can share these views with other members of your team, and save them time too!
3. Tag entries to streamline workflows
Marking entries with tags can be another big time-saver for your awards program. For example, tagging entries as “shortlisted”, “winner” or other relevant tags can keep your entries organised and trigger next steps.
With Award Force, tagging enables you to assign relevant keywords to specific entries, which can then trigger automated functions. This opens a whole new world of possibilities where you can define communication lists, set up automatic workflows, allocate specific entries to specific judges and so much more. Best of all, you can tag entries one-by-one, in bulk or automatically for a robust time-saving experience.
4. Track and change entry status
There is nothing worse than hardcoded submission flows to keep you from making quick changes to entries. Award programs very rarely operate in the same way, so anything hard coded or set in stone means your awards have to change according to how the software works. For example, you might need to request an entry resubmission. Or perhaps you need to change an entry from “completed” to “in progress” (or vice-versa). To do that, you need the ability to quickly and easily flick a switch to make that happen. With Award Force, changing entry statuses is fast and easy, allowing you the freedom to manage your program entries on the fly and without difficult workflows or worse, developer assistance.
5. Moderate entries
Incomplete or poor-quality entries can make your judging round a long, tedious process and waste a lot of your judges’ time. To combat this, remove these entries before they get to judging so your judges can spend time on what matters. In Award Force, you can quickly moderate entries with any of three moderation statuses: undecided (the default status), approved, or rejected, as soon as they come in, and set only approved entries to move forward to judging. This ensures your judges are seeing only high-quality entries and not getting bombarded with chaff.
This is equally important for entrants. If your program allows, they can now reopen their entry and edit what they already started. This resubmission option creates an opportunity for better quality entries, without your entrants having to start from scratch. A great outcome for everyone!
6. Take actions, in bulk
It’s likely your program has enough entries that you don’t want to go through them, one by one, to take any specific action, such as tagging, changing status or moderating entries. In Award Force, it’s easy to take common actions in a bulk batch. Simply select the desired entries, then choose the action you want to take in the Action menu and… poof! Time-saver!
7. Scan for plagiarism
Your judges have a big job at hand – to find and award the best entries your program receives. Sure, your established criteria will help the best entries stand out. But one thing you and your judges shouldn’t have to think about is plagiarised content. A great way to make sure your judges are only seeing original entries is to scan each entry for plagiarism. Award Force offers a powerful Plagiarism detection feature which scans all attachments and copy submitted within your entry form and provides a summary of any questionable content. There is also an option to scan all entries in a bulk batch.
8. Check for duplicates
Perhaps you often deal with duplicate entries – one person or organisation, for example, nominated by several others for your award. This can be a time-drain on you and your team. The answer? Automatically identify the duplicates and choose what to do with them. Thankfully, the Manage duplicates feature in Award Force automatically identifies any duplicate entries for you and through an easy process of selecting a primary entry and confirming duplicates, the duplicates are archived. And it’s reversible, in case you need to go back.
9. Archive entries
We know – entries in your list view can quickly become unwieldy, cluttering your view and complicating your entry management. A great way to combat the clutter is to clean up old or outdated entries. In Award Force, it’s easy to do this with archiving. Simply archive entries you no longer need without having to delete them. Achieved entries can still be viewed and edited by program managers, and can even be sent through to judging later on if required.
10. Export data with custom reports
When it comes time to sharing entries and program data with interested stakeholders, it’s important to share exactly what they want to see and without them having to click through dozens of spreadsheets. You can create custom exports in Award Force, and choose exactly which columns and data to include in the exported file. You can add specific fields from the entry form or remove fields you don’t need.
Small actions, big results
By using these ten time-saving tools, you’ll be able to work faster and more efficiently through your entire awards program lifecycle. Your program will run like a well-oiled machine, and your joy will overflow at finding and getting the most out of your awards management software.