Since the middle of 2020, there has been a shortage of lumber across the country. Despite this shortage, Wilson Lumber – an Alabama-based lumber and building materials supplier – has been doing just fine. “The lumber shortage hasn’t affected us yet. We’re just going with the flow and trying to do the best we can,” says Michele White, the company’s controller and credit manager. “Right now, the main thing we’re doing is increasing a lot of customers’ limits because everyone is buying even though the prices are so high.”
In fact, over the course of the last year, not only is business going great, but they are more confident than ever in their ability to collect payments and make sure their lien rights are always protected – something other businesses in this industry rarely feel confident about.
Why? For over a year, Michele has been using lien rights management software to send notices, track deadlines, and manage financial risk. Wilson Lumber rarely deals with slow paying customers because in many states where they work, they are required to send notices to protect their lien rights. And even when these notices aren’t required, they facilitate faster payments by providing visibility about who they are and what they are supplying to the job.
By using Levelset’s lien rights management software, Michele is able to make sure the business is always protected and she’s spending a lot less time in the process. Here’s how Michele is using Levelset to protect payments and streamline her process for managing lien rights paperwork.
Managing financial risk
For the most part, Wilson Lumber doesn’t have a problem receiving payments from customers. However, when working with a customer for the first time, there is always a level of financial risk involved. As a Levelset user, Michele has access to a large database of contractor payment profiles which provide insight into a contractor’s payment history.
“This helps me to see if anyone else has filed a lien against a customer. Or I can see if I might have payment problems with a certain contractor because other people who have worked with that contractor can submit comments on their payment speed,” Michele says.
“I can also leave reviews myself if I’m having difficulties with a customer to let others know. That feature has really helped with managing financial risk.”
Something else Michele has found helpful is access to legal experts who are knowledgeable about the construction industry.
“In the past if I had questions on contracts, I would have to wait for my attorney to reply to me which sometimes could take a week. However in Levelset, I can submit a legal question and get three attorney responses within an hour. That’s unheard of,” Michele says.
Access to expert legal help gives Michele confidence that she is making informed decisions on their contracts.
Then, of course, Michele is protecting her company’s payments by sending notices at the beginning of jobs to make sure they always have lien rights.
Speeding up the notice process
“The main thing that changed once I started using Levelset is how fast I can send our notices,” says Michele. “I can get multiple notices done in just one day now.”
Before using Levelset, Michele’s process for creating and sending notices was extremely time consuming. In some cases, she would spend an entire day just trying to track down the information for one notice. Not only that, but figuring out exactly when to send notices also took up valuable time.
“We operate in nine states, and each state has different deadlines and requirements. I was constantly researching my timeline, and sometimes those deadlines would get missed,” Michele explains.
In Levelset, once a job is created, the deadlines are automatically calculated based on the job’s location so Michele no longer has to figure out that information on her own. She also receives alerts which tell her when to send a notice or when to escalate a payment request if an invoice is past due.
Not only is Michele able to send notices faster, but she can also get lumber out to the job sites faster.
“Before we used Levelset, the notice process put the time to ship lumber back three days, at the very least, because our notices have to be signed and received before the first lumber shipment can hit the job site,” says Michele. “It was almost impossible for me to speed things up because there were so many moving pieces. But now that we’re using Levelset for our notice process, we can ship lumber within 48 hours almost every time.”
Now that Michele is able to speed up their notices and supply materials faster, the company is growing and will continue to grow.
More payment protection and faster payment collection is on your horizon
At the end of the day, Michele would highly recommend Levelset to other suppliers that are looking for an easier way to manage lien rights paperwork and get expert help to manage financial risk.
“I see a lot of added value in the time efficiency and knowledge that Levelset has brought to our business,” says Michele. “I’m happy with our partnership, and we will continue growing with the help of Levelset.”
Ready to grow your business and protect lien rights with less hassle? Talk to someone on our team today to learn more about how you can use software to manage your lien rights paperwork.
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