It’s fairly common for subcontractors to use a third-party service provider to create and send preliminary notices or file mechanics liens, but as more efficient solutions become available, the paperwork management landscape is rapidly changing.
CSI Electrical Contractors, Inc., a large electrical contractor in California, used a service provider to manage their notice policy for years. But as their business grew, they realized they needed a solution that could allow them to send a greater volume of notices and avoid the pitfalls of human error. That’s when they turned to Levelset.
“Of all the platforms we’ve purchased, Levelset is the best decision that I’ve made. If you’re looking to save time and efficiency, it’s a fair price. And, if you’re sending any large amount of preliminary notices, I would say it’s a no brainer,” said Louie Trujillo, the Director of Project Controls at CSI Electrical.
If you’re frequently sending out preliminary notices, lien waivers, and other payment paperwork with a service provider, here are three reasons it might be time to ditch your notice service provider and make the switch to lien rights management software.
Sending notices is faster and more efficient
When Louie and his team were using a service provider, the process for sending notices was extremely manual. They would fill out a document, send it to the third party, and then they would create the preliminary notice and send it out.
“It was pretty laborious,” said Louie. “If we’re opening up about 2,000 projects a year and out of those we filed 1,200 preliminary notices, then that’s about 40 or more hours of manual labor just for typing out the information.”
Now, Louie uses automation in Levelset to send these notices. He set a rule in his account so that a preliminary notice is automatically created for any job over a certain dollar amount. Those notices are then sent out three to five days from the job deadline without Louie needing to do any manual work.
“Every night the software pulls all of the jobs, and if there’s a new job, the preliminary notice is created within Levelset. Then the notice is sent out within the deadline,” Louie explained. “We’re no longer dealing with a time-consuming process.”
You have more oversight into the status of notices
Before using software, Louie found it was difficult to keep track of whether or or not a notice had been sent. They tried to track paperwork in files, but he felt like it was dysfunctional.
While searching for a more organized solution, Louie came across Levelset. “I honestly thought it was too good to be true and that there would be some kind of catch. I couldn’t believe that we’d be able to have all of our information online that the preliminary notices would get taken care of,” said Louie.
It wasn’t long before they realized how much more oversight they had into the status of notices with software versus with their service provider.
“I could see all the jobs that we sent preliminary notices on, and all of the releases that we had done for our company, all in one place. It has worked really well for us,” said Louie.
Paperwork doesn’t slip through the cracks
When sending notices through a service provider, Louie sometimes felt that there was a higher chance that paperwork might go overlooked.
“There was always a chance that someone didn’t get an email, and that a notice didn’t get processed,” Louie said. “And so I think that to have the notice process online where we can see it is more reliable.”
Managing lien rights online also helps Louie and his team efficiently manage lien waivers (sometimes called a lien waiver and release in California) so that nothing holds up payments.
“Before, our process was disjointed so things might get missed. Sometimes, we wouldn’t get paid because we didn’t submit our waivers,” Louie explained.
“If we’re seeing payments coming in faster, it’s because – with Levelset – we’re not failing in submitting our waivers. Our waivers are sent more efficiently because our billing process is set up so that when our customers bill us, they send the conditional. Once a customer pays, we have a report and we’re going into Levelset to create the unconditionals and send those out. It’s a really simple process.”
Ready to make the switch?
If you’ve been using a third-party service provider to send out your notices and want to give software a try, don’t hesitate! With Levelset, not only will you find that using software is faster and less stressful, but you’ll also have access to a team of construction payment experts who are dedicated to helping you get paid.
“Our partnership with Levelset is work-related, but I feel like it’s a friendship. That’s not a feeling you get with other companies or platforms. With Levelset, I feel very connected to the people we partner with,” said Louie.
Request a demo today to learn more about what it looks like to send your lien rights paperwork faster, and without the extra stress.
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