When you have dozens or hundreds of projects going on at a time, managing the processes and paperwork for protecting your lien rights can feel like a full-time job. Even if you know everything there is to know about the different notices, waivers, pay applications, and other moving pieces involved in managing cash flow, completing every task at the right time can be stressful and time-consuming.
Brewer Crane and Rigging is a construction company that provides mobile crane rental, rigging, trucking, and construction services on commercial projects. In California, where their business is located, subcontractors and suppliers are required to send a preliminary notice to the owner, general contractor, and lender within 20 days of first providing materials or labor to protect their lien rights.
Janelle Morrow, the administrative assistant at Brewer Crane, is well versed in the value of sending preliminary notices on the company’s private commercial projects. However, throughout the payment collection process, Janelle often ran into some challenges.
For example, Brewer Crane has a high volume of projects all starting at different times, which means there are hundreds of deadlines for Janelle to keep in mind. Also, when reviewing the payment status of all the different customers, Janelle found it difficult to track what actions had or hadn’t been taken to collect payment.
To alleviate some of these pains, Janelle decided to partner with Levelset so she could streamline the process of sending preliminary notices and easily track payment paperwork. In the year that Janelle has been using Levelset, she has found five key benefits that have made her role in collecting payments so much easier.
The 5 benefits of using software to collect payments
1. Automated notice reminders
Brewer Crane works on multiple jobs simultaneously, which means there are multiple notice and lien deadlines that need to be on their radar at any given time. Janelle uses Levelset to stay on top of lien requirements for the jobs she has added to the system so she always knows exactly when to send out preliminary notices or file a lien.
“Something I really love about Levelset is the feature where a banner will pop up alerting me about projects that I might be on that I haven’t even entered into the system and actions that I may want to take based on my involvement in the project,” said Janelle.
She is able to stay on top of sending preliminary notices within California’s 20-day timeframe and avoid missing deadlines. Rather than trying to keep this information in her head at all times or on a spreadsheet that needs to be manually updated, Levelset takes care of alerting Janelle of these deadlines so that she can focus on other tasks.
2. The ability to send notices faster
Before partnering with Levelset, Janelle would manually email each individual job to a preliminary notice service provider. While this was a sufficient way to send notices, it was a time-consuming and individualized process.
“It’s so funny to say that this process was archaic. But now, there’s a better way to send these notices, and Levelset proves it,” Janelle said. “Since using Levelset, I’m definitely sending out our preliminary notices a lot easier and faster.”
Janelle has Levelset set up to automatically prepare preliminary notices for all her jobs two weeks before the deadline. All she has to do is click to approve the notices.
Janelle no longer needs to waste time manually transferring information from one system into an email to a service provider. Collecting the job details, creating the notice, and then sending the notice all happens from one, streamlined system thus saving time and effort.
3. One place to track the status of all payment documents
Part of Janelle’s job requires that she report to the company’s accounting specialist, Joani Georgeson, and other higher-ups about payment status on customer accounts.
“Joani would run a report, and then I would make notes on it with updates such as when I called a customer for payment. But other than that, there was no good way to track the actions I was taking to collect payment,” explained Janelle.
Now Janelle has a crystal-clear picture of what actions she has taken and when — organized by customer and by job.
“With Levelset, I can send out a notice and it shows up in the system under the job. I can now track exactly what documents I’ve sent out,” Janelle said.
This provides a more organized record of her actions when reporting to her bosses. And, it also provides an easy point of reference for Janelle when talking to customers about what paperwork she has provided.
4. Streamlined paperwork to communicate with customers
When using a service provider to send out preliminary notices, Janelle would often get calls from customers asking questions about the notice or asking for more details. These notices had the correct information, however, they weren’t always sent the same way, which could cause confusion.
Janelle was able to clear this confusion by consistently sending the notices in a uniform format through Levelset.
“Now I can more easily direct customers by pointing to highlighted areas on the notice. I can direct people on the form to help them understand what they’re getting, and it’s just more clearly stated that this is your preliminary notice on the job. Levelset has done a great job. The layout is definitely user friendly,” Janelle said.
Not only has Janelle used Levelset to cut down on miscommunication, but she has also found that she isn’t dealing with as many “problem” customers.
“Those clients that we would have difficulty collecting payment from aren’t popping up as much. I think our collection time on those particular customers has gone down about 30 percent,” said Janelle.
5. A team of payment experts on hand at all times
At the end of the day, partnering with Levelset means that Janelle never has to deal with payment collection issues alone. Not only does Janelle have access to US-based customer support and a dedicated customer success manager, but also, time-consuming tasks like confirming job details are made easier with the Levelset Scout Research team.
“The follow up at Levelset is impeccable. I get emails all the time that clarify the job address. It’s incredible because the team will be in another state emailing me, and I’m amazed at how they get these addresses right,” Janelle said.
Levelset’s team of payment experts gives Janelle the confidence to do her job well, and they act as a true partner when it comes to getting paid.
“Levelset is on point with touching base with clients and following up with clients. I couldn’t be happier. I love Jessica, my customer success manager, and the whole team. Never once have I ever gotten anything but really, really great service,” said Janelle.
Ready to give Levelset a try?
Brewer Crane and Rigging is just one of thousands of businesses using Levelset to simplify the process for collecting payment and protecting lien rights. If you’d like to learn more about how Levelset’s lien rights management platform can make life easier for you or your team, schedule a call with the Levelset team today.
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