Growing your company and taking on lots of new clients and bigger projects is a great measure of success. However, when this is happening at a fast pace, it’s important to be aware of growing pains.
CSI Electrical Contractors, Inc. provides electrical, solar, and construction services all over California — ranging from thousand-dollar maintenance projects to 50-million-dollar new construction projects. They’ve been growing quickly, and as they’ve encountered challenges with administrative processes, they’ve turned to Levelset to make things easier.
Louie Trujillo, the Director of Project Controls, and Nikki Sickles, the Contracts and Compliance Manager, have shared the three ways in which lien rights management software has helped manage the following growing pains.
Reducing costs while increasing productivity
In any business, one of the biggest costs will always be people. Reducing costs doesn’t necessarily mean reducing people, but it does mean ensuring that those people are working efficiently. In other words, the key is to make sure employees are equipped to do the most they can in the time they have.
“We were growing and trying to reduce costs,” said Louie. “The goal was not to get rid of people but to repurpose people, and so we needed to look at some new systems.”
Their administrative teams were using a mix of spreadsheets, emails, and in-person filing in order to fill out and file preliminary notices and other documents.
As the company grew, it was important to not only look at ways to help their employees be more efficient, but also to get more value out of these administrative and compliance processes.
“It’s not a matter of if you’re going to use some kind of software or automation platform, but it’s a matter of what that platform will be. Any company that is growing will get to a point where it’s no longer an option to be on the fence about using a resource to be productive. When things are moving quickly, you realize that emails are just not as productive as they were before,” Nikki explained.
For example, Nikki’s team sends out a lot of subtier lien waivers. They would send those waivers via email — asking for a signature — and then wait for an email back.
“As the company grows, we want to rely less on emails as far as tracking information. And so Levelset, being connected to our accounting system, is a good tool in terms of seeing what has been paid, requested, and received. And we’re not trying to track all of those things through email,” said Nikki.
Their team can be more productive now that they’re not digging through emails to track waivers and other documents. Using Levelset hasn’t taken away the need for anyone’s role. Instead, it has helped their current employees work smarter – not harder.
Tracking paperwork and payment actions
By switching an automated solution, not only are employees able to work more efficiently, but it’s also easier for directors and managers to have more oversight into what tasks have or haven’t been completed by their teams internally.
“I don’t have to worry — ‘Did my people do it? Did it get done? ‘ — because now it’s automated,” Louie said. “Also, the most difficult part in collecting our payments was getting the preliminary notice sent. That process and tracking all of it was time-consuming. I had to run reports out of our system to make sense of what was going on. It was just an additional step that, now, we really don’t have to think about.”
Louie uses Levelset to have notices automatically prepared and sent based on the preferences he sets in the system — so it’s one less thing he and his team have to think about.
For example, whenever a contract is $10,000 or more and it is within the 20-day deadline, a notice is created in Levelset and sent out three to five days from the set deadline.
They have also completely automated their file transfer process for setting up jobs in the system, which saves tons of time on accounts receivable and accounts payable.
Staying compliant with lien requirements
As a company grows and more people get involved, it’s easy for things to slip through the cracks. However, when it comes to compliance, there’s no room for error.
“In California, it can really hurt your company if you’re not in compliance with lien rights requirements and you’re not getting these preliminary notices and forms sent on time. So the automation that Levelset provides helps us remain compliant and efficient as we grow. Levelset is just much better than any other option that we saw on the market,” Louie said.
In addition to time-saving automation, Louie has access to Levelset’s Ultimate Scout Research: an on-demand team of professional researchers who review their documents and track down hard-to-find job information like who owns the property or who is lending money for a job.
This extra level of verification helps Louie and his team stay compliant with notice and lien requirements. It also helps give them confidence that they’ll be paid on time since they know they’ve taken the right steps and filled out their paperwork accurately.
Want to take your business to new heights?
If your company is rapidly growing, Levelset is here to help you make sure that all of your lien rights and payment paperwork boxes are checked so you can focus on taking on new clients and more jobs.
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