We commonly get contacted by office managers and credit managers looking to replace their Lien Writer® software with something more modern and reliable. Managing preliminary notice and lien waiver documents has been a pain in the construction space for decades, and Lien Writer® led the way decades ago in publishing a desktop document generation and management tool to help companies with this problem. Today, though, since the software is quickly migrating to the cloud and for other reasons, folks who currently rely on Lien Writer® are evaluating replacements.
Every day, more than 30 contractors and suppliers sign up and start using Levelset to make lien rights and lien documents easy. If you replace Lien Writer®, here are some things you’re going to love.
1. Save Time Printing/Stuffing Envelopes
Imagine if all of that mechanical busy work just completely disappeared? Document software products may make it a bit easier to generate documents based on templates, but in the case of preliminary notices, those documents must still be mailed off to the appropriate parties. Software that doesn’t help you mail the notices leaves you with the hassle of printing the documents, stuffing them in envelopes, labeling them, applying postage, putting it into the mail, and then making sure you keep track of the mailing number (see below #2 for more on that).
That’s quite a bit of boring stuff to add to your to-do list!
Imagine if all of that mechanical busy work just completely disappeared?
When you replace Lien Writer®, you’re going to love how easy it is to have all of your documents accurately and reliably mailed by just pressing a button.
2. Track And Manage All Your Mail In One Place
Sending a preliminary notice is not like sending an ordinary letter. It’s important that you be able to prove that it was sent, and the required proof can be pretty strict and unforgiving. When you’re sending the mail pieces by yourself, getting the paper printed, stuffed, and stamped is just the start; you also have the task of making certain that you track the mail piece. This can be tricky.
- Imagine if all tracking information for every mail piece was instantly recorded
- Imagine if you could see a scan of every single mail piece
- Imagine if you could track all returned mail pieces in one place
When you replace Lien Writer®, you’re going to love how easy it is to track every single mail piece, to retrieve and view proof of delivery, and to manage all returned mail pieces with just a click.
3. Scout Data Helps You Get Every Notice Right
When you’re adding a new project to your lien document software — or even your own internal accounting or CRM software — do you get any help identifying who the parties are on the project?
Doing business in construction is unique because knowing who your customer is may not be enough. You also likely need to know some other project stakeholders, such as the general contractor, surety, and property owner. How do you know who these parties are? Does your current document management tool help you? This type of information is really critical when sending preliminary notices, as getting that information wrong could make the entire notice pointless and invalid.
What if — based on your simple project information – your software could make suggestions to you about what other stakeholders and parties might be associated with the project?
- Imagine if you got insights and hints about who was on your project that you didn’t know
- Imagine if that information was documented and stored with the project record
- Imagine if you could type the name of any contact and get verified information about the contact
When you replace Lien Writer®, you’re going to love getting accurate and fast researched suggestions to complete your project data.
4. Track Deadlines & Next Steps On All Your Projects
When it comes to managing lien documents and lien rights, so long as a project is still on-going or has money owed to it, there is always something coming next. Unfortunately, with most other solutions, keeping track of the next steps is quite manual and time-consuming. In fact, it’s common to see some office managers, accountants, or credit mangers with post-it notes stuck to their computer monitors with deadline reminders, or a spreadsheet always near their desktop with key deadline calculations.
- Imagine if your next steps were always known and served to you?
- Imagine if every next action was automatically calculated based on your last step, and/or based on invoicing dates and data that was fed right to your system?
When you replace Lien Writer®, you’re going to love always knowing what is next, and when it’s due.
5. Lien Waivers Made Easy With e-Signatures and Tracking
Lien waivers can be a real pain in the neck, right? Managing lien waivers can be very difficult for you because the form is a moving target based on a variety of factors, such as:
- The requesting party may have form requirements
- The state’s laws
- The circumstances of the payment (final or partial)
- Whether you received payment (conditional or unconditional)
- And more…
Your document generation tool — like Lien Writer® — may help you generate lien waiver forms, but you’re still likely receiving requests for new waivers within Outlook or through email, you’re still having to juggle multiple form demands, you’re still having to print the forms out, sign them, and scan them — all in all, you’re still doing a lot!
- Imagine if you received all requests for a waiver in one place
- Imagine if you could handle any form demands all in one place
- Imagine if signing lien waivers was as easy as pressing a button
- Imagine if you could track sent waivers
- Imagine if waiver recipients could easily send you comments on the waiver
When you replace Lien Writer®, you’re going to love having all lien waiver work and all lien waiver records in one place, and getting everything done faster and easier.
6. Your Documents Can Be Collaborative
A document management software tool like Lien Writer® lets you generate documents, but from there, you’re expected to arrange all collaboration about the documents on your own. And that should be a little frustrating because all of these documents are collaborative documents.
When you send a lien waiver, for example, you’re doing the exchange to get payment. When you send a preliminary notice, you’re looking to be contacted about any payment problems, trying to make payment easier, and looking for additional information that you may have missed. And, most glaringly, when you file a lien or send a notice of intent to lien, you want someone to reach back out to you and arrange payment.
- Imagine if your documents were collaborative so that they could immediately get responses and engagement from the people who received them?
- Imagine if you could collaborate on a lien document and get paid before it even had time to get filed
- Imagine if you could plug any holes related to a lien waiver exchange so that payment is not delayed
When you replace Lien Writer®, you’re going to love how your documents come alive and help you get paid faster.
7. Cloud Software Never Needs Updates & Is Available To Everyone, Everywhere
Lien Writer® was written as a desktop application and is just one of many on-premise desktop applications that can help you manage mechanics lien, notice, and lien waiver documentation. Much of this software was written in the 70s, 80s, and 90s, and is installed on computers all over the country.
Whenever a notice or lien form changes, or when computers and/or computer operating systems are updated, it becomes necessary to update all of the installed software. Further, if you want more than one person to access the software, you’ll need to install it on the other person’s machine and set up some type of network. The answer to these common software problems is in the cloud.
- Imagine if your software never needed to be updated?
- Imagine if all software, form, and other changes happened automatically without updates
- Imagine if you could give anyone access to the tool without a network and without installing anything
When you replace Lien Writer®, you’re going to love how little IT you need to deal with, and how easy it will be for everyone in your company to get value.
Bonus: How To Talk To Your Boss About This & Why It Will Mean Great Things For You
You’re going to love upgrading your experience in dealing with lien rights and lien documents. This isn’t going to put you out of a job — FAR FROM IT! — it’s going to make this process much more efficient and useful for your company and enable you to really use the lien rights process like never before.
Some people may call it “outsourcing” your preliminary notices because you’re not going to be stuffing envelopes anymore, but great cloud-based lien rights software can keep you right in the driver’s seat. You’ll be able to review an entirely new data source to help you verify your project data and get the document right. You’ll be able to review the documents generated and make decisions about what to send, and to who. You’ll be able to keep track of everything and continue to make key decisions.
Here is a guide to pass along to your boss: How & Why to Convince Your Boss To Adopt New Construction Technology. If you’re a Lien Writer® user, you’ve likely been using it for a long, long time. Lien rights software has come a very long way, and you’re going to love it.