Thomas Box is the Director of Credit at Irby — a national electrical distributor with industrial and utilities divisions. When asked about a typical day on the job, Thomas says, “It’s never the same, and there’s never a dull moment.”
With thousands of customers and jobs that pose a high financial risk, Thomas and his team of 12 — which includes a mix of account managers, credit associates, and analysts — prioritize protecting their lien rights.
To make sure they get paid, Thomas and his team send preliminary notices and other payment paperwork to encourage timely payment and ensure they can file a lien if necessary. Thomas has used Levelset to create and send their notices for years, and he recently decided to automate the notice process. However, this wasn’t an easy decision.
Like many professionals who deal with credit and payments, Thomas knows that the relationship between a customer and the credit or receivables department is a delicate one. To keep these relationships strong and, more importantly, ensure that lien rights are always protected, notices have to go to the right people, with the right information, within the right time frame. There’s a lot at stake!
Initially, Thomas was concerned that by automating the notice process, his team would lose control of notices. Yet months after switching to automation, Thomas and his team are glad — and relieved! — that they made the decision.
Here’s why Thomas decided to automate their preliminary notices, and why they’re never turning back.
Making a decision to automate preliminary notices
When the COVID-19 pandemic rocked the world, it was difficult to tell how things would play out financially. With this level of uncertainty, Thomas wanted to make sure his department was taking steps to secure payments in the best way possible. This meant making sure that preliminary notices would be sent on every job, except for a select few.
Creating a notice and sending it on one job doesn’t take a lot of time. But on hundreds of jobs, this can take a lot of time and resources away from other important parts of business operations. By automating this process through Levelset using a feature called Document Rules, Thomas has preferences set so that in 48 out of 50 states, the required and recommended notices are sent automatically.
Thomas understood that this would be helpful, but he still had some concerns.
“I was honestly scared that notices would go out without my control or my manager’s control, and that they would be wrong or go to a customer we don’t send things to. We all have those customers that can be sensitive,” said Thomas.
But Thomas thought about the financial risk they were dealing with, and decided it was worth it.
“I made the decision that it was ok to automate our notices. If for some reason a notice went to a customer it shouldn’t, I’d rather say sorry because I’d rather be safe than sorry,” Thomas said.
Reaping the benefits of the decision to automate notices
“We now have our preliminary notices going out automatically, and I just let them fly. I was hesitant at first, but it has been very helpful,” says Thomas.
“We’re all so busy, and there’s never any down time. So to have one less thing on our plates is great. That’s really what the decision to automate notices comes down to for us. Yes, we’ll occasionally have an issue with a customer being concerned about receiving a notice, but it’s just a matter of talking to people to clear things up.”
With Thomas and his team having so many tasks and responsibilities, they’ve found that automating notices is like a breath of fresh air. They are saving hours and hours of time each month now that they aren’t going in and reviewing every single notice that goes out.
Using an API, as soon as a job is created in Irby’s internal system, that job information is synced into Levelset. From there, the Levelset system determines what kind of notice is appropriate for the job and checks for the appropriate notice deadline. Then, a preliminary notice is created with the property information, required recipients, and description of labor from Irby’s internal system.
Levelset knows what needs to be included in every type of notice across the country, and if Irby’s system is missing any required information, Scout Research will fill in those details using Levelset’s vast database of contractor and project information. Then the notice is sent — always on time — two to five days after it was “ordered.”
Levelset allows Thomas to be flexible in the level of automation used for different types of documents, giving him even more control and insight than he did before using Levelset.
In Texas, Louisiana, and Tennessee where there are specific monthly notice deadlines and sending a notice is more serious, the level of automation is slightly different because Thomas wants more control. These monthly notices are also created automatically, however they go into a queue where Thomas and his team can review and decide to cancel each monthly notice as they’d like.
This automated notice process is “hands off” for Thomas and his team, but “hands on” behind the scenes as Levelset takes care of the details to make sure that everything is done according to the proper legal requirements.
At the end of the day, Thomas feels completely supported by Levelset’s automation and software features, and he can rest assured that his lien rights are always protected.
If Thomas ever has a question, he knows he’s in good hands with his dedicated customer success manager and the helpful customer support team at Levelset.
“Every person I’ve ever spoken to at Levelset has been always professional, approachable, and genuine. You can tell when people are genuine and you can tell when people are the opposite, and I haven’t run into the opposite with Levelset,” says Thomas. “So, customer service-wise, you’re not going to find any better in my opinion.”
Ready to automate your preliminary notices with Levelset?
If you’re a Levelset customer wanting to take things to the next level and save time on your notices like Irby, consider automation.
Download the guide below to learn more about Document Rules in Levelset, or reach out to your account manager to get started.
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