Berta Diaz has been the Credit Manager at S&J Supply Company, a pipeline material supplier located in California, since 2018. Upon moving into her current role, she realized the processes in place, or lack thereof, for sending preliminary notices, gathering customer information, and collecting late payments weren’t going to cut it. She had a vision to create a system that would optimize time and talent within the company’s financial department.
Making a change
Previously, the finance department was using a different third-party service to create and send preliminary notices. However, the process of working with this service provider proved to be almost as labor-intensive as simply doing it themselves. While looking for software or a more tech-savvy solution to put in place and continuously feeling underwhelmed by the options available, Berta heard about Levelset from S&J’s CFO.
The two decided to look into Levelset and were blown away by what they were shown. Berta could tell that Levelset was what they needed because of the preliminary notice automation capabilities, user-friendly interface, and minimal amount of time it would take to train other employees to use it.
Berta told us that now, “S&J can go into Levelset for any job and just request a Lien Notice. Before, I had to fill out a form and either fax or email it over for each and every job.” In fact, what stands out to Berta as improving most drastically has been “being able to go into Levelset and print down multiple prelims at the same time.”
Once she had integrated Levelset, Berta was able to perfectly design processes to complement the capabilities Levelset provides and make workflow manageable. In doing so, Berta has crafted a system that boosts the performance levels — and lowers the stress levels — of herself and her team.
Let’s take a look at the structure of her process.
The innovative risk management process
Part 1: Preliminary notice process
Here’s how Berta manages her preliminary notices:
- Create an account for the customer in Levelset with all information upon receiving a job inquiry.
- Send a preliminary notice via Levelset after receiving the first invoice from the customer using the information previously gathered.
- If the necessary information isn’t already under the account name, use Levelset’s Preliminary Information Request template to gather the remaining data.
- Simultaneously print a report of all of the preliminary notices sent that week each Friday using Levelset.
Part 2: Collections Process (Tickler System + Levelset)
Here’s how Berta reduces risk and handles collections:
- Input preliminary data into Levelset daily, based on demand.
- Pre-schedule a check-in to verify payment 45 days out using Levelset reminders.
- The Tickler System uses a “bring forward date,” or predetermined day ahead of a scheduled deadline, to bring attention to an account. 45 days isn’t the payment deadline, but it brings attention to the upcoming deadline.
- Preliminary notices influence timely payments, but when experiencing late payments, the Tickler System helps her team keep track of payment status.
- Check accounts after 45 days to ensure payments have been made.
- In case of nonpayment, prepare to send out a collections email or make a phone call.
- Send out a collections email or make a phone call if not paid by the deadline.
- If the payment issue goes unresolved, send a Notice of Intent to Lien.
- If all else fails, use Levelset to file a lien.
This system gives Berta the peace-of-mind that stems from knowing her company is thoroughly protected from risk, and with the help of Levelset, she estimates that what used to take her and her team an hour to do now takes them around 20 minutes to complete.
Reducing doubt by taking advantage of additional Levelset features
Scout is an additional service offered by Levelset that allows users to take advantage of our team of researchers. Once a user adds a job to Levelset and a notice is ordered, the team takes a look at the information provided and cross references it to ensure its accuracy, then adds the corrected information to the job.
Payment Profiles are an extensive database of companies — including contractors, subs, and suppliers — and their verified payment scores and average contract terms, including full payment history and peer reviews. Users can search by company names as well as projects.
Berta explained, “I’ve even had other companies and customers call me to ask whether I’ve heard of a company they’re thinking of working with and if I had information on them, and I was able to go into Levelset and see that they didn’t have good payment history based on reviews that were posted.”
The information she’s able to access because of Levelset Payment Profiles actually kept one of her customers from taking a job with a general contractor due to a history of poor payment practices.
Because S&J Supply may not be paid until their customers are paid, being able to vet other companies and independent contractors to keep her customers safe, in turn, keeps them safe.
Defeating stress to streamline success
Aside from the other game-changing tools Levelset has provided to optimize Berta’s incredible processes, she thinks of the Levelset support chat feature as her “best friend,” saying “Anytime I need something redone, myself or someone on my team will just jump on chat and get whatever we need fixed, resolved, or answered.”
To Berta, having the ability to solve any issue or obtain an answer to any question at a moment’s notice is invaluable. Due to the impact Levelset has made in optimizing her process and reducing her and her team’s stress, she’s even referred Levelset to multiple companies who she knew were using in-house, manual processes.
Berta told us, “I’ve had a credit manager email me to say ‘Berta, thank you so much — we’re using Levelset now and we love it!”
Berta’s vision has not only been made a reality– she’s helped others to create a system that ensures victory in finances, as well. Her diligence and determination to create processes that work in conjunction with Levelset to reduce risk, save time, and fast-track payment has resulted in her company’s overall financial security and success.
If you’re a credit manager interested in the ways in which Levelset can be used to optimize your in-house processes, reach out today.
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