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Elevate Your Waiver Process with Automation

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Daniel Brown
Daniel Brown
Jason Ross
Jason Ross

Signing and sending waivers is part of the job, but they can be messy and complicated documents with very specific requirements. In addition, requesting, tracking, collecting, and chasing lien waivers is a pain for everyone involved. Levelset’s waiver automation gives you the control to stay ahead, make sure you’re signing waivers at the right time, and reduce your risk of not being paid on time.

Join us for a free, live webinar to learn the ins and outs of lien waivers automation and how it can improve your current process.

Join this webinar to hear:
  • The types of lien waivers and if/when to sign them
  • Why automation is important
  • How Levelset can help streamline your waiver process

 

Speaker 1 (00:02):
Uh, welcome to our elevated waiver process with automation webinar. Um, my name is Daniel Brown. I am a customer success manager here at Level Set, which means I am the person that our customers come to, uh, when they have issues, when they want to work on their processes, when they wanna understand more about how they can make level set work best for them. Um, and with me, I have Jason Ross, who is our director of Product here at Level Set, uh, and he will be showing a little bit about the, uh, the actual process we’ll be discussing throughout this, um, throughout this webinar.

(00:46):
So first, who are we, um, level set is a, uh, basically what we do is we offer a software platform that helps people manage their lean rights to protect payment and mitigate risk. Um, we have a rain, many customers who also use us to manage their waivers, which is, uh, certainly part of the lean wise management process and is something that we’re gonna be covering here today. So for today, we will be, um, doing an overview over lean waivers. You know, what they are, I’m sure live, you’re familiar with them, but there’s some things we always like to sort of cover to better explain the over process, the overall process. We’ll talk about why automation lean waivers is important versus how processes often work for our customers, and then how we can help. And then at the, uh, at the end of the, at the end of this, uh, conversation, we will have a quick demo about how our lean waivers actually managed in level set. And we’ll save the questions for the end of the, uh, for the end of the, the presentation. And just to reiterate, if you do have questions, please use the q and a box. You can see the bottom of the screen there. Um, and we will go over them towards the end of the call.

(02:04):
So just a quick overview of lean waivers. Um, we use this matrix to sort of describe like the different kinds of waivers that exist, but overall, depending on who’s using them, how they’re using ’em, they effectively are receipts, right? So they protect the owner, they protect the lender from any sort of lean claim because they have their evidence of, of and signed evidence of payment from across the entire payment chain. Uh, we use this matrix to describe the differences between partial waivers, final waivers, conditional and unconditional waivers. And we’ll go a little bit more into that in the next slide here.

(02:46):
So the difference between conditional unconditional is pretty simple. Um, a conditional waiver is something that states you is only effective if you actually get paid. The amount stipulated on the waiver unconditional is signing away your lie rights on that much money for that job, uh, pretty much right there in the document. So it’s something that, you know, generally speaking, yes, you should always sign a waiver, but only if you’re signing the correct lean waiver at the correct time. And this is pretty important across the entire chain because if you, if you’re signed the wrong waiver, you know that somebody has requested from you, you could actually be giving up some of your lean rights. If you’re sending or requesting the wrong waiver, you could be delaying payment because oftentimes, you know, as I’m sure many of you know, um, owners, lenders don’t release payment until they’ve collected all the waivers for that pay application. And if some of those waivers are amiss or some of them are the wrong type, that can further delay things and hold up payment for the entire chain.

(03:52):
Why is automation important? So the way we look at it is because, you know, we all know managing these waivers can be a real hassle, right? And a lot of our customers that I’ve, you know, that I work with personally prior to coming to us, um, used spreadsheets, they used paper documentation, they used, you know, they had to spend time every day making sure that they’re matching up invoices to waivers and requests to, uh, you know, requests for going out to the correct people. And it really made for a, um, an often complicated and very time consuming process. So what we attempted to do is to automate this process as best we can find a way to make sure that the process is streamlined and functional for everyone, and that there is, um, a consistent method in place by which waivers can be requested and exchanged without having to manage it so manually, as is often the case.

(05:09):
So, you know, again, part of the reason why we think this is important and why so many of our customers find value in it is because, you know, I know for example, um, some general contractors, if they have, you know, five or six subcontractors, and then each one of those has multiple sub-tier suppliers and other contractors on the project that can go down, you know, several tiers down the chain. You know, the, any reasonably sized product can suddenly amount to dozens of waivers need to be collected for every pay application period. And to go back to that matrix that we looked at earlier of partial versus final conditional versus unconditional waiver types, managing each one of those types, if job requires, it can mean for every pay application you’re doing, you’re doing that twice, essentially in some cases. So it can be, uh, as I’m sure a lot of, you know, it can be a very, very time consuming, very complicated process. Um, I’ve seen some of the spreadsheets that some of our customers use to manage this, and they are workbooks of mini pages and a lot of manual injury. Uh, so what we, what we attempted to do here was to try to come with anion process that would, um, simplify it and very much just streamline the overall amount of work required to manage this part of the process of, of the payment chain.

(06:40):
So how does it work conceptually? Um, the way it works is if you are requesting a waiver from downstream, essentially the invoice information, the accounts payable information exists in level set that information and the cut the information of your subcontractors then used to generate a waiver request. They receive the waiver electronically. If they further much, if they have subcontractors or vendors to include in that payment application, then that same document will be sent further down the chain to complete the chain of waiver control, right? And then once they’re all received, they all come back to you. Now this is if you’re requesting waivers from higher up, if you, it also works the other way as far as managing waiver requests you receive, right? Or if you have, um, accounts receivables that you have to have waivers for, that also can be automated. So it works both ways. So this, this is a process that is much the same method, it’s much the same workflow, um, but it works equally well. Whether or not you are on the top of the pa of the contractual hierarchy are you are somewhere as a supplier just needing to make sure you control your waivers and fill ’em out to receive payment from higher up the chain.

(08:04):
So I, um, I think at this point we can dive into it. Jason, do you want to start showing them how this works?

Speaker 2 (08:14):
All right. Um, you can see my dashboard for level set?

Speaker 1 (08:18):
Yep. We sure can.

Speaker 2 (08:19):
Great. Uh, okay. So, um, you heard Dan talk through a lot of the, the features and, and, uh, key components of our platform here. Some of the things I really wanna touch on are the automation, how we configure and set up some of that automation. Just look at some of, uh, the rules that we configure, and then look at some of the results of what those rules would generate and how you’ll manage your waivers, where you can see them and things like that. So starting with, uh, setting up some automation on your waivers, we would set that up in our document settings. In our document settings we have are document rules, which will allow us to determine who we wanna documents to, how we wanna create them, turn them on and off, configure how they’re, how they’re, uh, set up, and what they’re gonna run on and, and what they’ll create.

(09:02):
So looking at our waivers, they’re called a playbook. Um, we’ll, we’ll edit that and look at what that means. So you can determine who should the rule apply to. You can configure it to all your jobs or to specific customers, specific job segments, and you have control over how to create those segments. Uh, and then you can configure your progress conditional on unconditional or final as well. Um, and say, do you wanna approve it? And I’ll show you what that means when you say approval, that means you wanna make sure that you put eyes on each one of those who, who it’s gonna go to, and then the timing for when those are gonna go out. Looking into the timing, you can say, send it after one day, send it after 10 days so you have it in your approval queue. And you can also group them all into a single waiver for multiple invoices in a, in a calendar month, uh, as well as determining who you’re gonna email them to.

(09:48):
So that is some of the, a very quick run through of sort of how you would configure an automation rule, uh, and that that automation is gonna then, uh, create those waivers automatically based on those, uh, configurations you’ve set. So before I do that, I’m gonna hop over to this tab, which has just a test customer with two open invoices. You’ll see that on these two open invoices, uh, there’s a conditional waiver created. Um, the way that that happened was we set up that automation rule and the rule ran and then put those two conditional waivers into my queue for approval. So it automatically created those waivers for me, allows, gives me a deadline that I need to act so that it gets sent out, and then I can view the waiver here, see that it has all the appropriate information, uh, matches the invoice that it was tied to and has the right contact.

(10:38):
If that’s the case, then I can go ahead and send the waiver from here. And I’ve automated the tying together of our account receivable accounts payable to a created invoice and sent that out to a customer all from this waiver’s queue. Uh, I’m gonna go ahead and cancel that. And then if I have, I already want sent the invoice and wanna to go look, sorry, I sent waiver, I wanna go look at it. I can see that here in my sent waivers, uh, tab that shows me waivers that I’ve already sent, gives me a status, the amount, and I can again, view that. So that’s an all in one place to view both my pending and sent waivers. Uh, if I had had ones coming from other customers, they would show here in that queue as requested and received. Um, and so through that process, you can see also the invoices that would be tied to those waivers, uh, the two ones that we looked at before that created those waivers on that, on this same tab here, uh, you can see how your accounts receivable, accounts payable, all tied together to the automation rule.

(11:31):
We configured all the way through the queue for your approval. Um, and you can, you can set those to auto approval if you have specific conditions. So you can automate it even further where you don’t have to put eyes on them, but you’ve got a lot of flexibility into what you want to configure, who you wanna send it to, how you wanna manage your queue, and then how you want, how you can go back and look at the documents that are created. So all in all, in all, a very powerful process to help you automate what can be very manual and time consuming processes, uh, and get them flowing through our system and tracked in a very effective way. So I know I touched on that very quickly. Uh, sorry Dan, I’m gonna cut you off, but, uh, I just wanted to sort of show you at a high level, uh, the things that Dan referenced and then, uh, we can always ask questions, dig into them, and, uh, if we ever, if you ever were interested, it certainly set you up with a longer demo and, and dig into those in a, a much finer level.

Speaker 1 (12:21):
And so Jason, this process is gonna be much the same for waivers that you are requesting from the down chain, right? From your vendors and suppliers and so on.

Speaker 2 (12:32):
Yeah, great point. Yeah, it works the same way, whether it’s receivable or payable, you can automate them in the same way and you would see them either in waivers from others or, or my waivers, uh, but the process would work the same way.

Speaker 1 (12:42):
Great. Great. And so, um, it, it, it’s worth mentioning that this process generally works best if we have some sort of method to collect the data, which is something that, you know, there’s a lot of ways we can get that in a level set. There’s a lot of ways we can, you know, you can input it into level set. Um, but having that accounts receivable, accounts payables data update regularly and is really going to be a key component to maximizing the effectiveness of these automations. Um, and, uh, as far as what the waivers actually look like, every waiver that we have built in the system is per state individual statutes. Uh, if there isn’t, if there are any, many states do not have very clean laws as far as what actually needs to be, um, needs to be on a waiver, but they are customizable to an extent. So level set does support having your own waivers put in there. If you do have some, if you have a general contractor or a customer who likes a specific waiver type, um, that’s something that we can support and, uh, and work into the automation. So at this point, I think we covered everything that we need to cover. I wanted to open up the floor to any questions?

(14:05):
No. We’ll, I, no questions so far. I guess we did a really good job, Jason. Okay.

Speaker 3 (14:20):
Uh, one question, Dan, and I’m happy to read it out. Um, we’ve got a question from Angela saying, how do you handle the states that require notary with their waivers?

Speaker 1 (14:29):
That’s a very good question. So the states that do require notary, these state statutory form that level set generates will have a field for a notary to fill out. Typically, the way these works is the notarization, the waiver itself needs to be printed out, notarized, and then re-uploaded into level set, um, in order for the waiver to then be received and processed how that experience looks like. It looks, if you’re requesting it from, say one of your vendors is, they’ll receive an email with that form and instructions on what to do next with it. And, uh, and that’s pretty much, pretty much how we handle it. I mean, there’s no way to get around the fact that notarization process is a very paper based process. So we, uh, we support that as best we can, but it is something that, that is included in that functionality.

Speaker 3 (15:20):
Awesome. Thank you so much. And it looks like we have another question from Adrian Austin. She’s saying, uh, her AP department is not on proco yet. Can she still use Level Set if her I AP data is not in Procore?

Speaker 1 (15:33):
Yes, we have a lot of ways to get data into level set. Um, there are a few different ways built into the actual platform itself, but probably the most common way that we receive it is just with spreadsheets that are regularly emailed into us, are sent through a secure file transfer protocol, uh, client straight to our data team. And then that process requires a little bit of initial setup for us to map everything properly. But there’s no need to have Pro Core to use level set. Um, we can receive AP and AR data, all your job data through a spreadsheet integration or through, um, a process that exists in the actual platform that if your data’s very, very clean and those require much logic works really fast and really great.

Speaker 3 (16:24):
Awesome. Thank you. I think that’s everything. Oh, here’s another one. Um, spreadsheets are a viable option, however, do you work with stage 300?

Speaker 1 (16:34):
So, and J might be able to speak a little bit more to this, I believe we used to work with Sage, but it wasn’t a very great integration. Um, so typically what we advise our Sage users to do is to, we can work with them or a spreadsheet integration like that and, uh, and communicate with them. And really, the spreadsheets are nice because if, for whatever reason the reporting that Sage can produce requires a little bit of work on our end to, to make work, then we can, we can boost some logic into that to sort of make the process happen. Um, but that gets pretty far into the weeds as far as how that actually works. But suffice it to say, I’ve worked with a lot of spreadsheet integrations. Um, one customer I had, he, their, their system was almost as old as I am. And, um, you know, I’ve been around for a minute. So it’s, uh, it’s something that we can, we can almost always make work, um, as long as, as long as we have support from your team as well to do it.

(17:40):
Um, yeah. Does Scott, Preliminary notices can have automation, like the waivers, really any of the documents in level set can, can be automated, um, and beyond, beyond the waivers, Uh, you know, like a really common system might be automate your prelim if you’re a supplier, for example, do like a day 31 notice, um, maybe that escalates some notice tend to lean, and then the automations themselves or those kinds of documents can be set to go out automatically or they can be set to approve. So say people might want the lean to line up and be ready to go, but that becomes like your final, like, Hey, I need to call these people and see what’s going on here, list. And, uh, and yeah, that’s something, you know, we can always talk through a good process and what we see as best practices and what, you know, our most, uh, I always see our most effective customers tend to use, um, depending on what your individual circumstances are, But short answer, yes, absolutely.

Speaker 3 (18:44):
Awesome. Thanks Dan. I, I had a question just, um, out of curiosity, I know, you know, obviously as a customer success manager, you are, you know, on the front lines working with a lot of our suppliers. Do you have any, um, success stories that you can share about like, automation and just some good progress that you’ve seen with your customers that maybe came to you, like you said earlier in the presentation with complicated spreadsheets and, you know, um, sort of mm-hmm. <affirmative>, where they came from and where they are now?

Speaker 1 (19:12):
Um, yeah, so I’m working with a customer right now who came from a, they were spending three or four hours a day processing waivers. They’re a fairly sizable general contractor in the southeast. Um, and right now, you know, they’re not totally live yet, but they’re looking at essentially reducing that amount of time to maybe three or four hours per week. Uh, so an enormous time saver for their team, um, and, and a cleaner process than what they had before. They, that team was, is they’re very on it. Like they, they, they know their job and they’re great at it and they’re super efficient. But, um, they did have some that would fall through the cracks every once in a while or, you know, something that was like the wrong waiver was sent, or the wrong wrong waiver was returned and are incomplete, you know, that sort of thing. And this is a process that because it’s all in one place and you’re not relying on, you know, dozens and dozens of emails or dozens and dozens of actual, you know, mail documents to return to you, uh, just makes the overall approval process much, much faster.

(20:28):
So that’s a success way for the waivers for automations in general. There’s lots of ’em. And I, I have a lot of customers who I’ve seen enormous success with like a four step automation process like I had just described with prelim, some kind of reminder and then a nose of intent to lean and a lean for approval. And that is effective, uh, how many people get paid.

Speaker 3 (20:53):
Awesome. Thank you for sharing. Um, mm-hmm. <affirmative>, is there anybody else who would like to throw in a question? We have about five more minutes left. Um, so we’ve got some time and, uh, if not, you know, we have our, our screen up here. Um, if you wanted to get a more personalized one-on-one call with someone from our team, you can absolutely request a demo at the link on the screen. Um, but while we’re here, feel free to throw any other questions in the q and a box or in the chat. Oh, I think we might be, think we might be good.

Speaker 1 (21:49):
Well, I wanna thank everybody for joining us today. Um, everyone will receive a recording of this and, uh, Danielle, correct me if I’m wrong, but also the deck I believe that we use to present.

Speaker 3 (22:00):
Yes, this will all be sent in an email tomorrow, so keep an eye out for that.

Speaker 1 (22:04):
Great. All right, Well thank you all and, um, it was, uh, it was great presenting to you and I hope I was able to help answer some questions today.

Speaker 3 (22:13):
Definitely. Thank You’all so much. Thank everybody. Have a good one.