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How to Ease the Strain of Supply Chain Delays by Protecting Your Payments



Project Type


Experts in this video

Mary  Moore
Mary Moore
Victor Portillo
Victor Portillo

Are supply chain delays interfering with business and slowing down your cash flow?

Join us for this webinar to get tips on how to ease the strain and protect your payments during these unprecedented times with SouthernCarlson’s Director of Credit, Mary Moore, and one of Levelset’s Payment Experts, Victor Portillo.

You’ll learn:

  • How other suppliers in the industry are coping
  • How protecting your payments can help
  • How to learn about payment problems before it’s too late


Speaker 1 (00:03):
Welcome everyone. That’s here. Thanks for joining. Uh, hopefully a couple more sprinkle in, in the next couple minutes. Um, and my name is Victor. I’m one of the payment experts here at level sets. I speak with a lot of contractor suppliers, equipment lessers, every day about their challenges and ways we can hopefully help ’em. Um, this webinar is gonna be recorded. Uh, so we’ll be sending out a, a link to it in case you need to leave early or whatever the case may be. And for people that aren’t here, we’ll also send, send a link if they signed up. Um, and you can ask any questions throughout the webinar, and we’re gonna leave, uh, a couple minutes towards end so we can answer those. Uh, but yeah, just send those in through the chat box and we’ll try to have answered by then. Um, so yeah, I, Mary here with me, she’s the director of credit at Southern Carlson. Um, Mary, if you wanna share anything else about yourself for years?

Speaker 2 (01:10):
No, I’ve been with Southern Carlson for 27 years. So, um, been used to the construction business for a long, long time. So we’re fairly new to level set, but we’re excited about our partnership.

Speaker 1 (01:25):
Awesome. Yeah. So a lot of experience here with Mary. Uh, so just for today’s agenda, we’re gonna be covering four topics mainly. So the current supply chain issues, uh, how other suppliers and vendors year coping, what techniques are strain and how protecting your payments can help. And as I mentioned that, then we’ll have some time for Q and a. Um, so yeah, that that’ll pretty much be what we’ll be going through. Um, so first off some of the common and current supply chain issues, um, so I mean, Mary, uh, I mean, you’ve been in the construction industry so long, you know, that right now, uh, supply chain is causing troubles, uh, with everyone. So, I mean, what have you seen, uh, on your end that’s been going on lately? Well,

Speaker 2 (02:22):
Of course supply chain is part of that to due to COVID or it is due to COVID with, and then we have the workforce issues, um, et cetera. What we’re seeing currently is, um, with the supply chain issues are char are causing, um, inflationary issues, which is there. Then what happens is cash is being replaced by inventory. Um, so that’s the biggest hurdle we’re experiencing right now. You also have payments slowing down a little bit, um, due to we’ll pay you when we get paid, that kind of thing. So, um, it’s causing the trickle down effect pretty well through, throughout everywhere. So from workers to not receiving product timely prices, increasing, et cetera, um, we do have something in place for hedge buying or, um, hoarding as such where there’s a notification in place if, um, someone’s placing more than a 60 day supply. Um, we get, no,

Speaker 1 (03:43):
Yeah, no for sure. Uh, that’s a lot of the things I’ve been hearing as well with some of the other companies that I’ve spoken with. Um, and yeah, I mean, as you mentioned, like, uh, these is like there’s several techniques that people are trying out there, like cording materials, as you mentioned, and just keeping like more reserves for bad debts, uh, just a bunch of different things and like changing the payment terms. I’ve heard from a couple people, uh, with whether that be with their vendors or with someone higher up the chain, whoever hires them. Right. Um, so yeah, I mean, you did mention, uh, a little bit of how you guys are handling it. Um, do you have any other insights as to how other people, like maybe other companies or things you’ve heard from other people?

Speaker 2 (04:29):
You know, what I have heard is just the, um, you know, I have a friend that’s in the lumber business, they ha they, they have problems with getting dry to deliver their product. You know, that kind of stuff. We, my company, hasn’t Southern Carlson. Hasn’t experienced that as such, of course there’s a worker sh shortage, but, um, we haven’t had that kind of issue. So, but yeah, we are, we do deal with the hoarding and that kind of stuff of product with the, um, affecting our affecting cash. So

Speaker 1 (05:06):
Yeah, for sure. Yeah. And that, that reminded me of someone I was speaking with yesterday. I won’t mention their company, but yeah. I asked them like what they were dealing with, like how that was affecting their company with the supply chain issues. And I mean, their response was it’s busy and expensive. Like it’s just hard right now. And people are dealing with it in different ways. Some things work better than others. Um, depends on what you’re doing, but now yeah, these are some great insights. Um,

Speaker 2 (05:40):
And another thing also as if, if, if there’s an item that we cannot get in, it’s trying to find another item to replace that item that will work for the customers.

Speaker 1 (05:54):
Okay. Yeah. That’s a good point. Uh, like trying to find something else to make the process quicker. Yes. Yeah, for sure. Um, yeah, so I mean, the, the, those are some of the things I’ve been hearing as well. Some of the tips and tricks, and of course, Southern Carlson being such a big company, uh, I mean a lot to learn from, um, guess here. Um, how can level set help with this? I mean, at the end of the day, no matter what tactics you’re using, like during these times, like whatever the case may be somewhere St. Struggling more than others, um, you gotta make sure that your money’s protected, like the money that you were promised that you have earned. Yeah. Make sure that’s protected. Um, because now more than, uh, ever there’s less wiggle room for anything like this. Right. Um, so I mean, levels that comes into play in several ways, there’s a couple of different products, uh, and services that a lot of our partners have been working with.

Speaker 1 (06:59):
I know Southern Carlson uses most of our toolbox, uh, to keep your payments protected. Um, so we’ll, we’ll dive into a couple of the ones that are most valuable, uh, in this, this aspect of the industry to, to ease some of the pain, right. With play chain issues. Um, so first off it’s something we call here internally, job radar. Um, so this answers, the question asked you, how can I ensure that I have up to date project information, right? You wanna know what’s going on in your projects sometimes, uh, you don’t really know what’s going on with other people that are in the same projects as you, uh, and that’s very helpful information, especially if you’re further down the chain as a supplier. Um, it can be hard to know what’s going on higher upright. Um, and this is pretty much like the best way to prioritize your collect. Um, some of the things that job rate are alert to about are lie file by other people, uh, payment delays, job, completions payments, uh, customer payment reviews by other people that have been working in those projects for, with those, the contractors, any bankruptcies, any licensing and tax alerts. And then whenever I notice if completion is filed, um, so I know Mary that Southern Carlson does use job radar. Um, so from what you’ve heard in your company or your personal experience, um, has this had any positive, uh, experience?

Speaker 2 (08:40):
Um, yeah, one of the things, well, we, I look at it all the time, as well as my team does. Um, it’s kind of interest. It’s very interesting, honestly, that, but like the other day I went on there and I had two customers whose license were suspended. Um, that’s great to know right away. Um, also when other companies file liens on a job, then we know that we should probably, um, follow suit on that. Um, especially if we’re having payment issues at the time. Um, but yeah, there’s a lot of good information in that.

Speaker 1 (09:16):
Yeah, for sure. And the thing I like the most is that, I mean, the construction industry is very connected. So I mean, if other people are having issues getting paid, especially if it’s someone that started the project way before you, chances are your dollars are also gonna take a detour. Right. Um, yeah. So, no, for sure, this is, this is something that we’ve heard from a lot of our, our partners that is very useful to at least know where to, uh, keep an eye on. Right, right. So next question that, uh, can be answered here is how do I start sending preliminary notices and all my jobs, uh, cause as many of you may, now this can be quite the manual task, quite the time consuming task. Um, so it’s best to have a process in place, uh, for something like this. So you can prioritize other, other parts of your job.

Speaker 1 (10:13):
Um, so this is pretty much the lean rights management software that we, that we provide. Um, the way this works is pretty much, as soon as we receive your project information, uh, that’s fed into our system. There’s multiple ways of doing this. Um, it can integrate with your P or accounting system. Uh, we’ll, we’ll keep track of follow the deadlines, all the requirements, especially if you’re working in multiple states, like I know Southern Carlson is, um, start to keep track of all the different deadlines and requirements across state lines, um, and especially like who to send it to what’s going on. Um, so you’ll be able to receive a alerts about deadlines, track everything in one place. So it’s not all over the place or you’re trying to keep a spreadsheet going <laugh> with a bunch of jobs. Um, and you wanna make sure that, uh, communication is clear.

Speaker 1 (11:12):
Cause I mean, whenever you’re dealing with any supply chain issues, you want to sure that everyone knows that you’re on the job. You wanna make sure that you’re being protected, uh, in case you’re having trouble getting materials or you’re having to spend a bit more money in this. Uh, you wanna make sure that all your jobs are protected, uh, all the way from the smaller ones to the million dollar ones. Um, so I mean, Mary, I know you guys have a ton of jobs that go through a system. Um, I, I believe you’re sending notices on most of your jobs, right?

Speaker 2 (11:48):
Yes, we are. They’re um, uploaded every day. Um, but we do business in all, most, all 50 states, not for, not all 50, but pretty close. And, you know, for us, it was trying to keep track of the lie laws in every state. Um, and they change all the time. So that was an issue also a lot of, uh, human error. I mean, if you miss a deadline, um, et cetera. So this kind of takes some of that pressure off as far as, um, if we, that way we won’t miss a deadline, we won’t, um, find out that there was a law that went into effect two months ago that we didn’t weren’t notified or weren’t aware of, um, that kind of stuff. So it just is automatic.

Speaker 1 (12:41):
Yeah, no, you bring up a lot of good points. I mean, obviously human there can always occur. I mean, we all make mistakes. <laugh> no one’s faults. That’s why it’s best to have a process in place. And, and yeah, I, I know you mentioned like some laws are changing every now and then I know Texas, the lean loves changed this this year. I think, um, Florida it’s in the works of possibly changing. Um, so yeah, this it’s just a getaway to always stay on top of everything. Uh, and even if you, for some reason are not a aware, some change, like we’ll be able to keep that on track and make sure you don’t miss any deadline or requirement that changed. Um, yeah. So I dunno if you have anything else to say about the leans management aspect?

Speaker 2 (13:30):
No, I mean, at first we, you know, we had customers not used to it, but, um, now they’re, um, they’re all getting used to it. They know who level set is now. And so, um, it it’s gotten a lot easier.

Speaker 1 (13:45):
Yeah. And that’s, uh, that’s the main idea here that everyone can communicate on their jobs. Um, and this is not something that threading anyone, right. This is something just to protect your jobs. Right. Um, so yeah, great insights. Um, another question that needs to be asked here is how do I reduce the time I spend on job information and research and ensure accuracy. Um, and this is tied to lean rights management. I mean, whenever you’re thinking of setting a notice, uh, it’s hard to know some of the people that are are in your job, if you’re a supplier, like you might not even know at times where your materials are going or where your equipment is going, if you’re renting it out. Um, so I know, especially for players, this is something that has been very useful. Um, so basically here, uh, we have something that we call our scout research team.

Speaker 1 (14:47):
Um, the way it works is they will go in and research all your projects, information and fill in the gaps that are missing. Uh, maybe you might not know who the lender on a project is. You might not know who the property owner is. Uh, we can fill that in for you so that you can have all the correct information on the notices that you’re sending and your, and your lean rights are protected, uh, in the correct way. Cause I mean, we know that if something’s missing or, uh, something goes wrong with the notices that you’re sending, uh, you might not be protecting your jobs correctly and that can affect you down the road if anything goes off. Um, so yeah, we’ll go ahead and confirm any, uh, of the details that you’ve given us, uh, and make sure nothing’s incorrect. So maybe the, uh, couple numbers might be incorrect, whether it’s three 16, might be 360 1, the correct address.

Speaker 1 (15:46):
Right. Uh, so we’ll go ahead and confirm that for you. And as I mentioned, there’s a lot of times where there’s a lot of people that require notices, uh, property owner lender, uh, whoever hired you, whether that be a general contractor or sub. Um, and there’s just a lot of people that need <laugh> to be sent to notice at times. Um, so I mean, going back to the whole supply chain issue, uh, with all these delays going on, I know that, uh, protecting your payments is simply just like the best way to make sure your cash is still flowing and you’re not having to, uh, hoard too many materials are or keep, or, or be scared of just like leasing out on that cash since you’re already stressing about the material price going up. And, uh, some of them not being able to be acquired even. Um, so I mean, Mary, in your experience, uh, I know you guys used the highest, uh, tier of research got ultimate, uh, for your notices. <affirmative> uh, do you find that like a lot of these gaps are being filled, uh, or have you had any trouble before then having to find that information yourself?

Speaker 2 (17:05):
Well, scout research has taken a lot of, um, research work off of my team because our sales staff is the one that obtains the information. Um, some of them are good. Some of them are not detail oriented and so they do write down numbers wrong, they get the wrong general contractor, the legal description is incorrect, um, numerous things. And so it is nice to have somebody verifying and checking that information. And like I said, that used to be kind of on my team to, um, to try to research and now we have professionals doing it, so we don’t have to do it basically.

Speaker 1 (17:52):
Yeah, for sure. Um, yeah, I mean, going back to that human error, I mean, it’s, sometimes it’s like, not even that you’re trying to, uh, do it wrong. It just happens at times. And, uh, sometimes, uh, yeah, you can just have like one number in then the whole address is wrong. Right.

Speaker 2 (18:11):
Or transp transposing of a number.

Speaker 1 (18:15):
Yeah, yeah, exactly. Anything pretty much. Um, yeah. I know with a lot of companies, like it’s the sales team that gets the initial information. I dunno if that’s the case with you guys, but I mean, I know that that’s not the main priority for them, like getting every detail cracked or just trying to get sales out the door <laugh> uh, so yeah, a lot of things can slip through cracks. Um, yeah. So for sure, this is a great way to, I mean, even to just simply save time on doing all this research right. So you can focus on better things, right. Um, yeah, for sure. So that’s, that’s the job research aspect of, of the lean rights management? Um, I covered pretty much everything. Um, so I guess that’s, uh, those are like the main parts of the toolbox here, uh, with level set that will help you pretty much get paid on all your jobs, uh, and relieve some of that cash trust that I know has been very, very hard in, in a lot of companies these past two past two years, I guess, past year.

Speaker 1 (19:27):
Um, so I mean, if this is something that people listening are interested in, you can always request a demo at our website, L said, dot com request demo. And one of our payment experts here will show you kind of how the platform looks and what’s the best fit for, for whatever your needs are. Um, we went over a couple of things that, uh, Mary uses is for, um, but it might be different for every company. Right, right. Um, so, uh, I guess now we move into any, any questions that we may have. Um, I guess, uh, I wanted to ask you Mary question, uh, to give some time for, uh, for some of the people listening to ask a couple more questions. Um, do you worry about any long term negative effects, uh, of these current supply chain delays? Uh,

Speaker 2 (20:38):
No, I don’t believe so. I think it’s temporary, but I don’t know how long nobody knows how long it will last that’s mm-hmm <affirmative> I think that’s the biggest issue is nobody knows how long it’ll last. Um,

Speaker 1 (20:52):
Yeah, no, for sure. Yeah. I know that’s a hard question. <laugh> no one knows. Uh, yeah. Just wanted to see what your thoughts were on that, uh, since you’ve been in the industry for so long, I don’t know if you’ve had any other experience with a time. Uh, it was similar to now where the supply chain was pretty bad.

Speaker 2 (21:11):
Um, no, I don’t. I remember, you know, back in 2000 and not eight, 2009, kind of when the construction market crashed as such, but, um, this is kind of new territory now what we’re going through. So I don’t think anybody knows for sure how long this will last, what, what the long term impacts will be, uh, when the worker shortage will go away. When <laugh>, you know, when any of this is gonna get better, we, we just don’t know. We all hope it goes away tomorrow, but <laugh>

Speaker 1 (21:46):

Speaker 2 (21:46):
I think know the airports are gonna be shut down. So <laugh> yeah. I, I don’t know. Um, I did wanna add something Victor though, um, about the software, one of the things that, um, my team has been enjoying, and there’s another piece to that is there is a place in there, um, that you can send out a payment demand and it’s optional. You don’t have to do it. And we don’t use it very often, but once in a while, like if we are not, if we’re struggling getting payment, there’s a button that you can hit for a payment demand. And it is a letter as such, but you, you can choose who it goes to. So can send it just to the general contractor or just to your customer, or you can send it to everybody, the lender every, and then you get to choose if you would like it to be friendly or off the top of my head. I don’t know what the verbiage is, but, um, you get to choose how, and you would like the letter to be, but, um, we have used that and it has worked successfully for us. So, um, that’s an option in the software also.

Speaker 1 (23:00):
Yeah, for sure. I know. I’m glad that’s worked for you. Uh, yeah. And I know that’s like, once it’s getting to a point where, I mean, the payments are not coming in. Right. You want take a little bit more action without having to follow lean? Um, yeah, that’s definitely a, a really good option to use. I’m you brought that up. I’m the questions here. Um, what has been the most useful you’ve used to the delays currently

Speaker 2 (23:43):
Delays in payment? Is that what they’re asking? Probably,

Speaker 1 (23:47):
Uh, I, I guess it’s for supply chain more on supply chain. Yes.

Speaker 2 (23:56):
Like I said, we haven’t had a huge issue with material. Ours has been more the, uh, inventory ours has. Yeah. Ours has been more inventory issues, more than anything, as far as us purchasing inventory and impacting cash flow. Um, ours is more, the supplying issue is causing inflationary issues. Mm-hmm <affirmative> so, um, I’m not sure what the best would be. I think having the alert in place on what people can purchase has helped immensely.

Speaker 1 (24:45):
Gotcha. You. Yeah. Yeah.

Speaker 2 (24:48):
For sure. If that answers the question, but that’s the best that I

Speaker 1 (24:52):
<laugh> no. Yeah. That that’s, that’s good. Um, yeah, no, that’s, that’s also a tough question. I mean, it’s, it’s hard to mention like one thing I’m guessing that like we’ll solve any, any issue. Right, right. Um,

Speaker 2 (25:08):
Well, and I’m not really directly involved with the inventory piece either, so

Speaker 1 (25:13):
Mm-hmm <affirmative> yeah, for sure. Yeah. No, I know, uh, you’re not involved with any, uh, with a lot of these things. I mean, you got a lot of your plates <laugh> so, uh, another question here, um, where does your research get their info for all the notices? Um, oh, I guess that was for me actually bad <laugh> um, that’s level sets team. Yeah. Um, so our team gets it from multiple places. So one is, uh, our simply the community that we build. Uh, I mean, we get a lot of info from Southern Carlson. For example, we have a bunch of other, like big suppliers and contractors that are feeding their, their projects into our system and we can see who’s there. And then we partner with a couple of other, uh, construction data softwares, like Dodge, the data. Uh, we also get fed information from, I can’t remember exactly how much, but, uh, like a lot of the county recorded county recorders around the country. So any, anything that’s fell through there will get, uh, pretty much immediately, and we’ll able, we’ll be able to share it, um, through the platform. And that’s where, um, we’ll be able to show you all the, all the info necessary for, for your notices. Uh, and then also the job radar. Uh, if anyone else is filing liens or notice of intent or a bankruptcy happens, that’s where we’ll notify you. As soon as we get that information, we’ll send them an alert and they’ll be, uh, yours pretty we’ll have access to all our info.

Speaker 2 (27:06):
Victor, you guys probably have a connection with the building permits, et cetera, too, don’t you?

Speaker 1 (27:12):
Yeah. So we, we, we do. And, uh, like, like some of the counties. Yeah. Um, so yeah, I guess it’s just like a mix of a lot of the, of the, it’s a mix of a lot of places that we get all our info from. And then a lot of them will be the same information obviously. So that helps us confirm it. Right. Um, so I guess those are the main places. Um, so yeah, just variety of places, but all those construction data databases and everything we built throughout the years, uh, it’s a pretty, pretty big construction database now. Um, so another question here, um, so it’s, so I work for a large nationwide, a company, our locations aren’t super centralized. How did you implement any software? Mary it’s messy for us in the past. So I guess they’re asking, uh, like how the implementation of our software was for you guys since, I mean, some cases that can be a bit messy

Speaker 2 (28:25):
Level set has an awesome team of trainers that we had weekly calls, um, with my team that will, my team is de we are not centralized, we’re decentralized. So I have team, my team is spread across the United States. So, um, the locations that they would be, or the states that they would be responsible for would they would be trained, um, by the level set team, we had weekly, um, teams calls and they stayed on the phone question, gen answers. They took one on one phone calls for anyone that was questioning really. And truly it’s the level set software is super easy to use, but people learn at different levels and the trainers recognize that. So they were very, very patient and, and understanding that a few are gonna take additional resources, um, or time explaining. So, um, they worked with our it team, got it all loaded. They, we upload new jobs every morning. We upload our AR to those jobs daily. So the dollar amounts match. Um, I, it was pretty seamless. We didn’t do it. We didn’t do all states at the same time. However, um, we did it in phase, I believe three different phases. We did it in, so, but very smooth.

Speaker 1 (30:06):
Awesome. Yeah. I know, uh, every time, uh, we get a new customer, they, they get assigned a, an account manager that mm-hmm, <affirmative>, that’s like taking care of them throughout the whole way. And also like the onboarding team is great. Right. But like set everything up with you we’ll work with your it team to get the software up and running and then teach whoever is gonna be using it, how to, how to use it. Right. <laugh>

Speaker 2 (30:33):
Right. And then also, um, how, how it works for us anyway, and everybody would be different. I see the entire country free when I log in. Um, my team only sees what they are responsible for. So if I have somebody with, well, of course, Texas is on its own, but the person responsible for Texas only sees Texas, they don’t have to view, uh, all, all the other locations. So

Speaker 1 (31:03):
Yeah, for sure. Yeah. And that’s that answers the question <laugh> no, yeah, that, that was a super good answer. Thank you so much for that. Um, and yeah, I know, like there can be multiple users there, so it’s not like you’re having to share one account and like you have to wait for someone to, uh, finish using it and then yeah. Pass it onto someone in another state. <laugh> right. Um, yeah, for sure. Um, well, I guess we can start to wrap up, uh, wrap up now. Um, hopefully those were all the questions answered, um, although to the last slide, so yeah, that’s pretty much it. Thank you so much, Mary. Uh, and thanks to everyone who joined, uh, just as a reminder, we’re gonna be sending out an email, uh, with, um, a recording of this webinar in case you wanna see it again or in case you didn’t make it. Um, and then you can follow up with any questions there, if need, and again, there’s a link if you want to request a demo for, for a platform, uh, or some of our other services, um, we’ll always be happy to, <laugh> go through that with you. Um, so thank you again, Mary. Um, mm-hmm <affirmative> it was great having you here. Hope we can do it again. Um, and yeah. Thank you everyone.

Speaker 2 (32:29):
Thank you.