The United Methodist Association of Communicators (UMAC) is a community of faith disseminating the values of the United Methodist Church based in Nashville, Tennessee. The UMAC solicits awards submissions annually in ten different classes from all across the United States. Due to the fact that UMAC awards attract participants with diverse backgrounds and the organization itself targets multiple communication formats, the submissions are evaluated by judges from all over the USA.

The awards program for UMAC is a source of funding for the association, and one of the main goals of the organization is to share and recognize the work of colleagues. This is why having an effective awards management system in place is crucial.

The major challenge that UMAC awards organizers had to tackle was optimizing the flow of submissions and, thereby, simplifying the logistics for entrants, judges, and the UMAC team.

The core challenges requiring quick action were the following:

  1. Shipping Issues.
    In previous years, all entries were mailed to one location in either hardcopy or electronic form on a thumb drive, cd or dvd. One person would mail the entries to judges located all over the United States for scoring and selection of award winners. Judges would have to mail back the entries and the scoring sheets. Then, the entries had to be shipped to the location where the awards celebration was taking place. This caused a lot of issues with getting items lost, expenses of mailing and a huge investment in labor and time.
  2. Disorganization of entries.
    When the entries were shipped to judges, they would be difficult to sort as they did not remain in any order when shipped. Due to this disorganization of entries, judges would often decline when asked to judge.
  3. High cost investment. Many members did not want to submit entries because of the cost of mailing. The cost to select judges and fly them to one location to judge was not an affordable alternative making an online solution the only option.

To find the right online platform, the UMAC formed a task force to explore the options. The group looked at affordable online solutions which allow moving entries to an online or electronic format. Additionally, the factors like the ease of submission and the ability of judges to access and score entries were considered. The functions, the cost and the customer service offered by Judgify matched the expectations of UMAC organizers.

    Judgify allowed all of the entries to be submitted and paid online. This helped increase the number of participants substantially. While submissions equaled 100-125 before the implementation of Judgify, the number of entries grew to 225 this year.
    With Judgify, judges had to deal with less logistics and did not have to bother about sorting and mailing. The online system allowed switching to a single submission and scoring format. What’s more, all the submissions and scoring reports were collected in one place.
    The reports, numbers and details about each submission as well as payment information were easy to access.

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