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How Successful Electrical Subs & Suppliers Manage Lien Rights & Receivables



Project Type


Experts in this video

Robert Burkhardt
Robert Burkhardt

Are you an electrical sub or supplier trying to scale your business, but constantly running into the challenges that come with high job volume, progress billing, and projects with lots of stakeholders? Speeding up your payment collection time by managing your lien rights could be your ticket to growth, but adding another process to your plate probably sounds impossible. 

Good news! We’ve found that if you have the right process in place, staying on top of lien rights and payments is a breeze. We can help get you there.

Join our upcoming webinar to learn how leading electrical subcontractors and suppliers are using Levelset to protect their lien rights efficiently, get paid faster, and grow their businesses.

You’ll discover:

  • 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


Speaker 1 (00:04):
I guess we’ll go ahead and get going. Like I said, this is gonna be a recorded session. So if you guys wanted to take a look at it later or send it out to somebody, you’ll have that option as well. You should get an email of the recording to your inbox. So what this is today, we’re gonna do a presentation on how electrical, subcontractors and suppliers manage their lean rights and receivables through software and myself. I am Robert Burkhart construction payment expert here at level set I’m on the sales team. I’ve been here for 15 months. I was about to say years. It hasn’t been that long yet 15 months and have worked with some of our larger companies. So equipment, lessers, suppliers, and larger subcontractors as well. And just a little bit about level set. Our goals is to really bring down payment time in the construction industry.

Speaker 1 (01:09):
That’s our biggest goal overall. But save time, save money, reduce risk, and get paid faster. Is we wanna happen for you guys? A little bit more about level set. We were founded in new Orleans by a construction attorney and he just saw the same story over and over again with contractors coming in, who were looking to get paid and didn’t know the proper avenues that they had to go down or could go down to get paid. So he started the company to basically enlighten and help those contractors to make sure that any of the necessary documentation was getting filed on time and that everything was done properly. And recently we were actually acquired by Procore which is a national construction software company. A big part of what we’ve become at level set is a data company. So having information of how payment is flowing on jobs, information about how contractors pay, it’s all really valuable to our customers and to the industry as a whole.

Speaker 1 (02:15):
And now that data set has just gotten that much bigger with the, that acquisition from Procore. So we’re pretty excited about that and looking forward to see what more we’re able to do with that. So just a little bit more with our solutions, subcontractors and suppliers, what they get out of that is the ability to automate their documents and set rules based on their business preferences. A lot of companies do have some kind of solution or process in place for handling notices and waivers, but we find that it can still be very manual, either looking up the information, so doing the research yourself, or having to type up the documents to be able to get sent out or type up the information into a website, just stuff that as businesses continue to grow and that work piles up, it just becomes a little bit too much. So hinting on the research, there was ensuring the job site details are accurate and back to the data is getting alerts when payment problems arise. So if you’re on a job and somebody else filed a lien, it’s probably something that you wanna know about. So we give you that ability to do so.

Speaker 1 (03:31):
This is a quote right here from Jason. Who’s a CFO over at Faulkner Haynes, which is a HVAC supplier and it kind of sums it up. I’ll let you read that. You could read it when the webinar goes up, but he sums it up perfectly here and filing notices on every job just simply gets you paid faster. I like to describe it. We’ve got two types of people that we work with. You’ve got reactive and proactive. You’re reactive people. They don’t get paid. And then they’re looking for, okay, what can I do to get this done? A problem comes up that they weren’t expecting, how are we gonna handle this, the proactive people they’re staying ahead of those problems ahead of the payment delays before it arises by making sure that everybody knows they’re on the job, their documents get sent out that are necessary and they’re prepared when that final step happens.

Speaker 1 (04:29):
So today we’re gonna go over the essential lean rights paperwork, so that paperwork that’s necessary to get out there to secure your lean rights so that you’re able to leverage that to get paid on your jobs. We’re gonna go over a few different success stories from some electrical contractors and suppliers as well as a brief little demo, just a, a quick look into the product what it would look like for you to navigate that as well, and then a Q and a session at the end. So let’s go ahead and get it going. So that essential lean rights paperwork that I mentioned. Obviously this is gonna vary from state to state if you’re working in multiple states or if the business is expanding into multiple states, that definitely adds on some confusion as far as how things are gonna get done, and what’s gonna be different from your current notice process.

Speaker 1 (05:27):
And I like to tell people this level set is a great resource for you to use as well. So if you don’t really know what the new requirements are in a different state, or if you’re just curious, you can go to level set.com and look that all up. But in addition to those notices, lean waivers are super important as well. And that’s something that you might only have to send one notice on a job, but depending on many people are involved in that job, it could be dozens of lean waivers that you’re having to handle and get sent out. Notice of intent to lean is required in some states, not all. But that’s another document there that before going to that ballistic option, pressing the red button of sending out that mechanics lean, you can send that notice of intent to lean, to really let them know, Hey, I mean business, if we don’t get payment, the next step is going to be that mechanics lean.

Speaker 1 (06:29):
And of course there are other documents, demand letters. You can have a strongly worded demand letter, a kind like bump pay. Can we get paid now? Can we get paid before taking it to those next steps? So now we’ll go ahead and dive into some stories from some similar companies in the industry. The first being CSI electric. So CSI is a California electrical contractor. They provide electrical construction technology solutions, and they’re also a provider of alternative energy development prior to using a lean rights management software. They did have a notice service to handle their notices but it was still just a very manual process for them. And it got more complicated as they continued to grow and they had a need to keep up with over 2000 jobs a year. So if you can imagine 2000 jobs having to file or even research all the notices on those that could add up to a lot of time and how they were doing it, they tried organizing their paperwork into files. But the process, it resulted in a lot of missed deadlines, increased risk, and eventually resulted in some nonpayment as well.

Speaker 1 (07:51):
So Louis trio, who was the director of project controls, he really saw it for a better way for him and his team. And it led him to finding level set and what it was, it ended up being a better way to ensure that their receivables were protected and it freed up time for what’s most important for credit teams out there, which is building and maintaining customer relationships. Anytime I talk to a credit manager and I’ve talked to a lot, that is their biggest thing is I want more time to interact with and talk with the customers. And that’s what Louis was able to find for his team. So what they found is more oversight over the whole process. So being able to see what’s been taken care of what needs to be taken care of an automated process. So having a little bit more hands off approach where information is found documents are sent, they are just less involved, which leads to less time verifying job details and more time for them to do what they wanna do. And one of the big things is just, this is all easily accessible for them, and it’s all right there in front of them. And they went from before of having just this notice process that would get the notices out the door to using level set. And they view level set now as an essential tool in all of their daily operations. And they get far more out of it than just the notices.

Speaker 1 (09:25):
So another quote from Louie right there, but they’ve set up the account now so that all of their prelims are automatically created for jobs over a certain dollar amount. And it keeps track of all of that within the system. It saves the team hours each week not to mention several trees based on all of the files that they’re not having to print out and file away anymore. And not only has their preliminary notice process been greatly improved, but the team is also able to more efficiently handle their lean waivers as well, which is pretty important. And all this has allowed them to see their workflow efficiency significantly increase across the board and financial risk has decreased for them as well. So this next story here is gonna be from another electrical contractor. This is a, a national contractor, and this is gonna be covering how they’ve improved their waiver process.

Speaker 1 (10:26):
So this is a, a quote from the customer here on long term projects. There are a lot of moving pieces. If you’re on a five year project, maybe the first year you have five vendors and subs that submitted preliminary notices, but then in years, two to five, you have 10 more vendors. Sometimes there was no communication or things weren’t organized well enough to where the billing reps were adding the new subs throughout the project. So all that meant that releases and waivers were possibly incorrect and holding up payment for them as well, which obviously getting paid is the biggest thing. And before implementing the software, they were also using spreadsheets, something we hear all the time which they felt was a little too old school, and it was eventually holding up payment for them. They also primarily relied on email correspondence to request waivers.

Speaker 1 (11:20):
Sometimes they wouldn’t get a response on that or things would get lost in emails and they found it difficult to go back into their inbox and have to track and see what happened to move on to next steps. So with the software, they now have a single source of truth. So there’s no more searching through emails and trying to match spreadsheets. It’s all right there in front of ’em. And you’ll probably hear this again from me that single source of truth. And you’ll be able to see that when you get back to the when we get to the demo in a little bit, so after using the lean rights management software, their waivers are no longer holding up their payments and document management has become easier with how they’re able to view their ascent and received waivers. So once again, the single source of truth, and right here, love level set because of visibility, is there in terms of what waivers we have and what we still need now, managing our notices and waivers is very organized.

Speaker 1 (12:30):
I can say that level set has been an amazing tool in helping us with document management control. So we’re gonna go onto our last example here which is gonna be an electrical supplier. So Herby it’s pretty big with locations throughout south central us. They’ve got thousands of customers and a lot of jobs that pose a high financial risk for ’em. And this is gonna be a similar story to CSI where there was a lot of manual input ever increasing job volume, a lot of time wasted and not enough time for them to get the job done.

Speaker 1 (13:11):
So this is from Thomas box, who’s their director of credit. They actually started off using level set without the automation. So they were still having to put in a lot of their jobs and the information that was necessary. And one of the reasons that this was the case, and this is something that we hear a lot is they were nervous to automate because they had a lot of long term customers who they have built up pretty good relationships with. They’ve never had a problem with them over the course of 30 years, and they didn’t wanna start sending them notices and tick ’em off and maybe, you know, hurt that relationship. But after they learned about some of the automation rules that you’re able to apply they decided to give it a try and they haven’t looked back. He doesn’t have to worry about sending a notice to someone who isn’t supposed to get one. And doesn’t more importantly, doesn’t have to worry about someone who’s supposed to get a notice, not getting a notice because of a fear of the wrong people, getting the notices.

Speaker 1 (14:21):
So after they fully adopted level set and put in the automation rules, they’ve saved a lot of time, really simplified that process and further reduce the risk because they’re not worried about missing out on sending notices to people who need to, and they’re not worried about hurting that relationship as well. And so this is a, I really like this quote right here from Thomas. One of our core values here at level set is help first. And it really shows through through this quote the customer service wise, you’re not gonna find any better in my opinion, and it’s my opinion, as well as Thomas boxes. Our customer service team is fantastic. So we’re gonna go ahead and jump into a quick little demonstration first wanna pause and see if anybody has any questions right now. It looks like we might have one that came through.

Speaker 1 (15:24):
So what types of integrations does level set have? So level set we’re able to integrate essentially with any E R P like definitely a lot of the major ones QuickBooks, if you’re a, a company that’s using that as well. But we’re able to make a partnership work in some kind of way, whether it’s we import a spreadsheet to get the information, or if it’s directly linked to your accounting system. A lot of people do that and it just makes it a, a lot easier for getting all the documents created and streamlining the whole process. So we’ll go ahead and jump over.

Speaker 1 (16:11):
And Dylan, I just wanna check with you, make sure that that’s showing through right there, that everybody can still see. This is what the homepage would be. We’re gonna go through a few different aspects of it. Like I said, this is gonna be just a light demo here, as far as some of the tools that you’re able to use and what it actually looks like. So first things first, we’ll hop into the notices section right here, and we’ll take a look at the queue. So basically this is essentially like an upcoming and like to do list. It’s gonna show you what is going to be due when it’s due and we’ll let you know whether or not this is something that you need to take some form of action on, or if it’s gonna be automatic. And that’s kind of something that you would be able to set up in the document rules that you’re able to take a look at which would just be right here, document settings.

Speaker 1 (17:16):
And this is a lot of people, they do it on certain dollar amounts. You could do it by state, by client when it gets sent out, what happens and it’s all of the playbooks. So you’ve got your prelim monthly notices. If you’re in a state that has monthly notices, so Texas playbook for your waivers, basically anything and everything that we would do, you can set it to how it’s gonna get done. So looking at Vincent’s comment here, what if we have an open API restoration software? So is that restoration software as in like for a restoration company? Essentially, essentially, I always like to tell people is like, we will figure out a way to get that information into the system whether or not we have to do spreadsheet imports. I’m not exactly sure on all of the integrations that we have that are set up and ready to go.

Speaker 1 (18:26):
But you can definitely send me an email after this recording will get sent through too. And I could find out that information before, so I’ll go ahead and write that down and get you that answer and you can send me and I’ll let you know. So back to up here, we’re gonna hop back into the dashboard mentioned earlier, the data that we have, and that is something that a lot of customers have come to appreciate in the system is our job radar feature. So you can come into here. And what this will do is we take a look at kind of how payments are flowing on jobs what’s happening. And it lets you know, for the jobs that you were on, what’s going on. So these are the kind of alerts that you would see right here. So overdue payments, how long they’re overdue when payments are flowing, because if other people are getting paid on the job, then you should expect, Hey, we should be getting paid as well. What’s going on? You can reach out and try and figure it out. And more importantly, knowing when liens are getting filed on the job, because if you know, there are already payment problems that are happening on the job that you’re pretty likely to, to stumble across those as well, when it gets to that point.

Speaker 1 (19:52):
So mentioned earlier, we’ve got a whole waiver section as well where you can request waivers fill out waivers that are coming in from your subs or suppliers. And this has been a big thing that a lot of companies have taken advantage of in addition to the notices. Cuz as I mentioned, it is something that adds up to a lot of work over time. The last piece of data that I wanna cover right here is going to be our contractor profiles. So before you even get onto a job or if you’re on a job with somebody and you wanna see how they have been paying and what’s going on, you could come in and look up a contractor. So this is something that if you wanted to do today, you could go onto level sets website and take a look at this, but it’s something that’s integrated into the product as well and gives you a good idea of what that company’s payment history has been and what it currently is.

Speaker 1 (21:01):
So just coming into Ratcliff companies here you can see reviews that have come in. But what I always like to see like this is, this is current information, a lot of credit people, credit departments, credit managers, when they’re going to evaluate somebody’s credit worthiness they will go to dun in Brad street, other companies like that. And that is a big picture. That is the last, however long they’ve been in business. What their credit history looks like. This is current. So you’re able to see a week ago, a week ago, a week ago, slow payments of 90 days or more. It gives you value amounts as well. To see really kind of like how far out they are on those payments. This is pretty valuable information right here before getting into business either with a new contractor or when you’re running into some problems on a job and wanna find out a little bit more about what their payment history has been.

Speaker 1 (22:08):
So right now we’ll go back into if anybody has any questions and we’ve got a QR code right there. If you all wanted to find out some more information you could just go ahead and hold your phone up to that. And it’ll bring you to a link to request some more information. Got another question here can use data. However we get it. What if we just use spreadsheets today? So if you just use spreadsheets today we do spreadsheet imports so we can import those spreadsheets through a CSV that gets the information into the system and that can have it set up there so that your notices are ready to go. Another question here is the training obviously we’re not gonna throw you to the wolves here. There’s a lot of information, a lot of tools within it and level set has fantastic training. So if you were to sign up, you would be assigned a training and onboarding person who would walk you through what would be the best use case for you and how to navigate the system. You’re also assigned a customer service person. So an individual who this is your person at level set. If, and when you have a question, you can go talk to them and they’ll get the answer for you or get the problem figured out.

Speaker 1 (23:47):
All right, well that was it for me unless anybody else has any questions. Like I said, there will be a recording of this that will get sent to your email. If you think of a question later, feel free to send an email back to me and I can get back to you with an answer, but otherwise I wanna thank everybody for being here today and hope you have a great Memorial day weekend coming up.