How Successful Electrical Subs and Suppliers Manage Lien Rights & Receivables
As an electrical contractor or supplier wanting to scale your business, managing your lien rights paperwork and speeding up your payment collection time might seem impossible when you’re dealing with the challenges of high job volume, progress billing, and projects with multiple people on the payment chain. But, if you have the right process in place, staying on top of lien rights and payments is a breeze.
Join our upcoming webinar to learn how leading electrical subcontractors and suppliers are using Levelset to protect their lien rights and get paid fast.
- Payment collection solutions for electrical contractors
- How to process lien rights paperwork at scale
- What it looks like to switch from a notice service to a full lien rights platform
Jon Weirich: (04:18)
John Weirich here. I have, uh, been with Levelset now for five plus years. Um, spent a long time of that on our sales team, um, developed a new partnerships and new users of Levelset. And now I actually do our new hire training and I do coaching for our existing sales team. So I’m very excited to get started talking to you guys here today. Some of my favorite customers that I worked with or partner with, uh, during my time as a rep we’re electrical contractors, electrical suppliers, they are a big part of, uh, the user base we’ve got here. So again, thank you guys for all being here. As questions come up, feel free to use the Q and a function or the chat, and we will make sure that we get to them.
Jon Weirich: (05:05)
If you’re brand new to Levelset, um, or you have not had a chance to poke around on the website much. I just wanted to give you a rundown of kind of who we are. Um, we are a software company based out of new Orleans. We’ve got offices in Austin, Texas as well. Um, and we work with contractors and suppliers, uh, both in the electrical space and throughout the rest of the construction industry to help them secure fair payment, a lot of different vehicles. Uh, I guess that, that we have that we bring to the market and bring to folks like you guys and that area, things like legal help, things like material financing. We’re not going to cover it all today. We’re really going to be focused on lien rights management. But again, if it’s your first time with us welcome, we hope to see you on the site, looking into some other ways we might be able to help.
Jon Weirich: (05:47)
So let’s talk about today’s focus a bit more. The first thing we’re going to cover is a leave rights paperwork, essential lien rights paperwork. It is the bread and butter of what Levelset does for a lot of folks. And when we talk to electrical suppliers, electrical contractors in the industry who are, um, who are not concerned to slow payment, who are getting paid on their own terms, it’s usually because they’ve got a tightening in rights and paperwork process. We’ll specifically look at a few stories of customers we work with, or we have been partnering with here, um, recently. And then we’ll take a look at the platform itself at the Levelset system, do a quick preview and give you guys some time for some question and answer jumping right into it. Guys. Some of these may look or sound familiar depending on where you are in the country.
Jon Weirich: (06:34)
I saw that we had a few folks from California. So things like preliminary notices may be commonplace. I know we had a few Astros and Rangers fans in there. So in Texas, these are going to be monthly notices. But when we talk about essential lien rights paperwork at Levelset guys, what we mean is things like preliminary notices, lien, waivers notices of intent to lien last but not least mechanics liens at a very high level guys, preliminary notices are documents that are typically sent, start a job, and they give a company lien rights, whether they’re a supplier or a contractor in case that party goes unpaid for work, right? Whether it’s supplies that never get paid for a pay app that gets ignored. It gives them that security lien waivers. They’re going to do the opposite. A lot of you guys are familiar with these. Um, they’re exchanged at the time of payment, there’s conditional lien, waivers, and unconditional lien waivers.
Jon Weirich: (07:24)
We could talk about all the different time or different types for probably our full 30 minutes here, but making sure that a company’s got a tight way of exchanging paperwork, right? When money is being exchanged is always key. No seven tend to lean guys. That’s a demand letter. That’s our, uh, we’re sick of, of waiting on an invoice. And we need to make sure that our business gets paid depending on the state. You live in notices of intent to lien and preliminary notices may be required. They may not. Again, what we find is that electrical contractors, electrical suppliers that you use them consistently see the most consistent time to payment. And then that last one, I’m sure we’ve all got some experience with it’s the ballistic or the nuclear option. Our goal at Levelset is to make sure that companies who work with us don’t have to get to that point.
Jon Weirich: (08:08)
I wanna make sure that cashflow is coming in predictably and the businesses are getting paid before. Things need to escalate up to that point. So let’s talk about housing companies use those lean documents. First one that I love to talk about here is Louie. Louie is the director of project controls for CSI electrical contractors and prior to Levelset. And they had a lot of the headaches, a lot of the concerns that we hear time and time again in the industry, not a lot of oversight into their protected AR um, when they did need to protect their accounts receivable or lien rights or pursue late payment, it was kind of a slow and a manual process. And that was an especially big problem for Louie because they were billing about 150 to 180 invoices or projects a month. So very, very high volume user with a, again, some of the common headaches that we hear around wasting time with paperwork and not being able to manage the status of the AR.
Jon Weirich: (09:02)
Now, when Louie got partnered here with Levelset, these are some of the great results that he saw. Um, you can read his quote near we’ll share it afterwards, but at the end of the day, what we were able to do for Louie and his team is give them oversight. And when they were protected, um, we were able to save them some time on a few automated processes, right? Avoiding any redundant tasks for our credit team or our accounting team. Um, and then one thing that we’ll talk about here in a little bit more detail is that we were able to make it a lot clearer for Louie who they needed to send paperwork to, and more importantly, who they could expect payment from on a job. So researching that payment or project chain was a big element of what we did here. And we’ll talk about that here. Um, and just a moment, I want to pause really quick cam, any questions here that might’ve popped up, I’ve kind of got a few different screens going. I don’t want to miss anybody.
Cameron McClendon: (09:50)
Yeah, John, I got one here. Someone messaged me asking about the, uh, the volume that Louie was managing. I looked like 2000 projects. Uh, is that a typical volume? That level said seas?
Jon Weirich: (10:01)
It’s not, no, it’s not. That’s a good question. That’s um, maybe not 10 times the normal volume, but Lou is a guy who definitely has a higher notice or project volume than most. We work with everybody from, you know, mom and pop electrical companies really getting off the ground to some more recognizable names. That was a great segue for me, cam uh, companies like CDD. So, uh, we’re going to talk about them here a little bit. I’m sure everybody’s familiar with CBD. We work with them in a few regions around the country. Um, and of course they’re on the higher end of that project, spectrum cam. But again, we work with folks, um, who are really just going a few jobs a month as well. Now for CDD, you can imagine the headaches that Louie had, they had, you know, in spades, they were wasting even more time or spending even more time having to chase down job information.
Jon Weirich: (10:48)
Um, like a lot of larger suppliers, their sales team was great about making sales. They weren’t always great about collecting project information. Um, and so that made it very, very hard for them to verify things. And more importantly, they were causing friction with their customers because they were having to constantly pester them for the information that they needed on preliminary notices or on lien waivers. And that maybe their, their sales reps should have gotten in the first place. So when they partnered with Levelset, their favorite two words were scout team. Um, our research department guys, we called the scout team. And what they do is they ensure that when a supplier or a contractor closes a, a new contract and gets a job address, we’re going to piece together the rest of the information, things like who the property owner is, there’s a lender on the project or anybody else in between.
Jon Weirich: (11:36)
It’s going to be exchange of money. It’s vital that those prelims and those lien waivers make it to all parties involved. Um, and so without having to bother their team again, they put the research on us, on our scout team. We like to call them kind of a team of private investigators. Um, and they were able to eliminate a lot of headaches and a lot of redundancy on CDs and having to chase down job site info and, uh, and figure out who in the heck they needed to send this paperwork to in the first place. I’ll pause again, cam, how are we doing on questions?
Cameron McClendon: (12:07)
Uh, I’ve got one here for you. Um, I know like companies don’t like causing any issues by bugging their customers. Where does a scout team like get this project info from?
Jon Weirich: (12:17)
Good question. Um, and we can take a look at that and the product here in just a moment, but the short version is that it really depends on the level of research our users need from Levelset. So, um, for the vast majority of companies that we work with, we’re never going to have to bother anyone in their tree. We’re not going to have to call their customer or anything because our team has got access to about a half a dozen online databases, um, where they’re able to go find information that would otherwise be buried in the County recorder’s office or on an assessor’s report or in the other weird corners of the internet that we sometimes have to chase some of that job info. So good question there. Um, we will reach out to customers if users ask us to, but our default is certainly to let them be and to finding information. And if the other places
Jon Weirich: (13:01)
Let’s talk about getting paid payday is certainly every favorite day in the industry, whether you’re an employer or you are a project manager, AR um, specialist waiting on a check. One of the big things that we talked about earlier, and we’ll take a look at here in a moment is lean waivers. Um, and I know when I’ve spoken to electrical contractors, especially larger ones in the past lien waivers can be a pain because they usually have different phases on a project. And so when a party is on a job and then off a job, and then on a job, an awful job, um, it can get a little, little concerning or a little confusing about what types of lien waivers are needed to be exchanged. We specifically work with one electrical contractor here, um, who was having to send waivers on their own behalf. And they were regularly having to track down waivers from their suppliers or from equipment rental companies that might’ve been utilized.
Jon Weirich: (13:52)
Um, and as you can see, they had a lot of the same, same headaches that we see hard to tell where paperwork was hard to generate paperwork at scale and keep it organized. Um, and that’s again where Levelset came in. So we have something called the document in box or toolbox that we can, uh, we can look at it in a moment, but making sure that when a check is literally being handed across the table or is in the mail, they get sure that waivers are in place is going to be key to ensuring that there’s no unnecessary drags or unnecessary risks taken on when a contractor supplier is, uh, is getting a, gonna check the cash. So they element that we help with as well. Like I said, we’re focused on the lien rights management process here today. And that’s specifically asked to do with some of this paperwork. We could’ve covered prelims research and who’s on your job and making sure that waivers are covered. Um, I’m going to jump into the system here really quick, so we can take a peek at all of this in action. I want to pause real quick and see if we have any questions though, before I do that cam, anything else, we need to no questions on
Cameron McClendon: (14:52)
My end right now, but, uh, you know, feel free to drop them into the chat or the Q and a, and we’ll have some time at the end to answer any specific questions. So, uh, start type those up.
Jon Weirich: (15:03)
And if it’s not a super important question, it gives me an opportunity to drink some water. So I would appreciate the, uh, the interrupt interrupted from anybody. Um, let’s jump into it then. Cam I appreciate that for any of you guys who are brand new to Levelset, this is what our home screen looks like. I tell people all the time though, that nobody buys software, nobody partners with a company like Levelset because of our cool home screen. So what I’m going to do is take us into an example of a project. So again, we saw that we had a few folks dial in from California. What I went ahead and did here for us to take a look at is created a project Hyatt, Regency, and Fresno, um, where we have got the system set up for, uh, an electrical subcontractor hired by a GC.
Jon Weirich: (15:46)
Now we talked a little bit about prelims earlier and, um, for like a lot of people we talked to the idea of tackling that paperwork on your own is not ideal. Um, I’m going to show everybody here, what it looks like very quickly to just send a quick document and we’ll see along the way, how quickly and easily we can adjust the paperwork we’re sending, we’re sending the other type of paperwork. So we need to send that 20 day preliminary notice here in Fresno. There’s going to be some information that we got to have things like the estimated contract amount, but there’s also going to be a lot of information that we know it’s hard to find who owns the property. Is there a lender working with Hyatt, Regency? All of those questions are ones that are important to know the answer to, and that we want to take off of our users, our customers plates here.
Jon Weirich: (16:35)
So that scout team is going to be key. Again, they let our customers just give us the information they’ve got, even if it’s partial and when our users come in here and say, Levelset, it’s time to protect my lien rights on this project. We’re going to take it from there. Um, you’ll see, in a moment, I like to compare this a little bit to an Amazon order confirmation page. This is the final step for a, a company to send a preliminary notice or really any of the other documents. We talked about lien waiver, notice of intent to lien or mechanics lien from this point on it’s on Levelset to make sure it’s done correctly. And you can see some information here about how we’re going to process the order, the status of the order. Um, as well as, excuse me, um, information about who the documents themselves are being sent to. So we said earlier, consistent paperwork process or processes is usually what leads to consistent payment time in this industry. Um, and in making sure that a company’s got oversight into a job like this, um, and the documents I’ve sent is going to be key
Jon Weirich: (17:40)
Pausing really quick. Um, cam I know we didn’t have too much information here, um, in the slide deck about monitoring for problems, but one other thing I always like to show companies here, um, when they’re taking a look at a Levelset project page, is that we’re looking out for you even when, uh, when you might be asleep or, or even when you might be distracted with other elements of running an AI, running a business there’s payment problem monitoring here. Everybody is one thing that people really love, uh, partnering with Levelset for this is us letting businesses know two things, very, very simply, and I’ll show you one really quick. The first is, are my lien rights secure and giving a nice black and white answer for that. You can see here when we entered a date and our system recognized that we’d sent the prelim, it’s going to let us rest assure that there’s no problems.
Jon Weirich: (18:30)
The second one here is a little bit more of what I like to say, looking around the corner and what this means or what this is looking for. Folks is other parties, maybe outside of your electrical vertical, who are on a job and might’ve run into payment issues. We’re looking for things like notices of intent to mean that other companies have sent liens that have been filed bankruptcies, that might’ve taken place. All of the things that we know can trickle down and affect everybody on the job site, we’re going to keep right here, front and center to make sure that, uh, that our users are, are fully aware of what’s going on around them. Cam I know there’s a couple directions. We can take things here. I want to be cognizant of everybody’s time. Um, give me some quick feedback. Is there anything in the product itself you think we should highlight real quick? Or do we want to, uh, to get to some Q and a and maybe get things wrapped up here?
Cameron McClendon: (19:25)
Well, John, I know no one here is looking to manage another system. What type of integrations does Levelset have?
Jon Weirich: (19:32)
Thank you, cam. Um, I should have mentioned that earlier. So in the electrical space guys, we, uh, we specifically, um, integrate with a handful of accounting systems. Um, if anybody here has a QuickBooks user desktop or online, we can plug directly into an accounting source that way. We also integrate with Procor and most of the other kind of point of sale or, uh, ERP and accounting systems out there, there’s some spreadsheet important. So that’s a great point for users like Louie, who we talked about earlier, who might have, you know, two or three jobs, two or three ship shipments a day going out. We don’t want anybody to have to, uh, to come in here and be a data specialist or a data entry specialist. We’ll get those plugged right in. Um, it really helps as well for things like lean waivers and some of that receivables element as well.
Jon Weirich: (20:19)
So cam, if we take a look here at the invoices section, we want to make sure when we’re talking about a good at lien rights management process, that those waivers are, uh, are taken care of efficiently and you guys can see right here, another example of Levelset, taken the guesswork out of the process. So since we’ve got all the different lien law and lien requirements plugged into our system itself, it’s going to know what type of action might be necessary for a given invoice. You can see here that this invoice is not paid. And so what the system is going to encourage us to do is send a conditional lien waiver, right? Once the system recognizes it has been paid, it’s going to queue us up to send an unconditional lien waiver. And again, then we can avoid any of those barriers at the very last minute from the money exchange in hands, um, quickly and efficiently. Thank you, John.
Cameron McClendon: (21:14)
I got one last thing for you. Um, you know, there’s, there’s a lot going on here. Um, what, what sort of training does Levelset offer for, for the software,
Jon Weirich: (21:24)
The best training camp? Of course. Um, no, that’s a great question. So if anybody here, we should have put a slide in for the group. If anybody here is familiar with trust, pilot or Yelp, I highly recommend you checking out Levelsets. Trust pilot paid one element that we pride ourselves on is not just selling a tool or tools, but providing that support. So anybody who works with Levelset or is interested in starting an account with Levelset rest assured, the first thing we’re going to do is get you introduced to your account manager who does a year in new Orleans or Austin, and we’re going to make sure you get trained to use a tool like this. We understand that selling a, a, a vision like this and implementing a process, um, doesn’t happen automatically. And so that’s a great question. Whether it’s from initial onboarding through our support experience, that’s talked about a lot on trust pilot. Um, yeah, we are. We are, we’re there the whole way. If anybody’s got questions like that or, uh, or more specific questions, I’d love to take them out and you can see here we’re taking demos or a signups for demos as well. If anybody wants that one-on-one call. I think I may have cut somebody off there. What’s going on?
Cameron McClendon: (22:27)
Hey, John, uh, see, we’ve got a question here in the Q and a. This is from Ingrid. Uh, they said kind of new to the industry. We do commercial and public jobs. How can I know which job requires 20 preliminary notices. Thank you.
Jon Weirich: (22:41)
They’re great. But you haven’t heard
Cameron McClendon: (22:42)
About it. So maybe it’s a 20 day seminary. No, yeah.
Jon Weirich: (22:44)
20 day preliminary notice, Ingrid gonna be hard for you to answer this. So maybe you can like give me a thumbs up or raise your hand. Are you in California? Um, as well with the 20 day notice reference, I’m going to guess. So here briefly the long, uh, or excuse me, the short answer here for this Ingrid is that in California, the project type and in this, this is the case than most States. So let me speak more broadly. In most States, the project type is only one factor in determining whether or not something like a preliminary notice is required. There’s a lot of other factors that can matter for an electrical company. Um, the first one that jumps to mind is who hired the company onto the jet on to the project who their client was. And an example of that is that, um, let’s say an electrical supplier who sells materials directly to a general contractor or a property owner is going to have completely different requirements than if they sell to a subcontractor on the job.
Jon Weirich: (23:44)
And so all those different rules and complexities are broken down really well in our blog and in our free resources. Um, if you’re just getting started and going, I’m actually gonna send you an email later about something we call the credit management Academy that I think will be really helpful, but more importantly, if I didn’t make it clear, calculating those types of requirements and deadlines is the core part of what our system does when a user enters a job. So we’re doing the whole, I like to call it lean law Tetris to figure out what their requirements are and we’ll keep those front and center, um, for you folks. So great questioning. Thank you,
Cameron McClendon: (24:20)
John got another question here from Vanessa. Vanessa says, I heard Levelset integrates with QuickBooks online. What about QuickBooks desktop?
Jon Weirich: (24:28)
It does. We do integrate with QuickBooks desktop, Vanessa. Um, it is a very, very similar experience with just a slightly different setup. Um, so that’s something we can certainly accommodate.
Cameron McClendon: (24:43)
And, and what if someone doesn’t have QuickBooks and maybe they’re using spreadsheets to manage all this, is there a, you know, some sort of solution there?
Jon Weirich: (24:51)
Yeah, listen, I like to say as long as our users get us the information we’ve got about half a dozen ways we can get into the system. So for something easy like spreadsheets, um, or, you know, larger receivables files that may come out of an accounting system, we actually import those directly. It’s a key part of that relationship that a user would have with their account manager. Um, but we also have users guys who just send us job sheets. They scan their point of sale job sheets that come from the sales team, they get them to Levelset and we take care of some of that data entry. Um, again, we don’t want you guys having to spend your time on those types of tasks when we can, we can make sure the more important things like notices and seeing our receivables and rewrites, um, can happen a bit more, more easily.
Jon Weirich: (25:34)
So as long as you get us the data, we’ll get it in. And like I said, are there are these effective with jobs that are not bonded? It’s my now see the questions I got this from cam small projects and or service projects. Excellent question. Um, I’m not an attorney. I want to be really careful lyric, right? Um, but as a general rule, both lien rights and the lien notices and documents we’re talking about are very, very, very effective for service work, smaller non bonded projects. You know, anything from a small remodel in a home to, you know, a $500 invoice for service work can be protected typically by lien rights. And more importantly, when we find folks is that it, it comes back to that consistent process. So even if a company never dreams of going to the point of filing a mechanics lien documents like preliminary notices, invoice reminders, and notices of intent to lien can do a lot of good for just speeding up that receivables and kind of given that, um, that message of, of, you know, we’re aware of our rights. We’re running a tight ship here and we just want to make sure that, that we get our invoices handled fairly.
Cameron McClendon: (26:44)
Thanks. Sean looks like there’s, uh, no questions in the chat at this time, but I was thinking, uh, you know, if someone has kind of a long-winded question and they don’t want to type it out, we’ll give you guys the opportunity to raise your hand. And what we’ll do then is unmute your microphone and you can just chat with us directly if that’s something you want to do. So do you have a specific question you want to talk about? Just raise your hand now. Otherwise we’ll, we’ll get out of here and let you guys go on.
Jon Weirich: (27:16)
If you are struggling to find a, raise your hand function, you’re welcome to just chat, unmute me and we’ll get you. We’ll get you un-muted that way as well. Either one will work. I’m not seeing any immediate takers, I don’t think. Okay. Awesome. Well guys, I hope this was helpful. Um, if there are any specific questions you do have, and we couldn’t get the mute part figured out, um, I’ll make sure that my email is included here. And if you’ve got something a little bit more urgent, I highly recommend that you check out Levelset back Tom, and either request a demo, um, or otherwise fill out some information there to get a call. We’ve got a team of folks standby who would love to help with anything from a quick question about a project, to some more questions about the system itself with that said y’all. Thank you very much. I hope you guys have a great rest of your Wednesday afternoon or Wednesday morning, I guess if we got anybody on the West coast. Um, and again, we hope to hear from everybody soon. Thanks again, and, uh, and enjoy your day.
Cameron McClendon: (28:16)
Thank you everyone. Thanks John.