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Pursuing Business With ‘Risky’ Accounts

Prevailing business wisdom holds that the way to reduce credit risk is to limit credit lines, be stingy in allowing credit and freeze orders on past due accounts. This line of thought posits that it is generally impossible to lower “bad debt” losses without adverse consequences to sales and business expansion. Read The Full Story »

Contract BondMore Like This

While most construction firms focus on projects locally, others will undertake steps to expand geographically and capture new revenue. Often, construction principals that venture out of their current market to increase the potential for sales will find many of the same concerns they face locally, and the larger challenge of navigating an unfamiliar location. Construction is a risky business and those risks generally increase whenever a firm decides to expand beyond its territory. Continue »

Each year, the Merchants Bonding Company™Leaderboard Program salutes agency partners who have demonstrated their surety savvy and collaboration for growth. We salute Smith Brothers Insurance Inc. of Glastonbury, CT, for attaining the Champions Tour of surety professionals. Congratulations to Craig Meeker for surety professionalism in 2012. Merchants Bonding has partnered with Smith Brothers Insurance Inc. for over five years. We thank them for the successes we’ve had together and recognize them for sharing our common sense vision. See our online salute to Smith Brothers Insurance Inc. of Glastonbury, CT, here. Continue »

Errors and OmissionsMore Like This

Under Louisiana law, a federal district court held that a general contractor on a public contract to build a warehouse could sue the owner’s project engineer for negligence based on allegations that the contractor’s ability to perform its obligations to the owner was delayed and rendered more difficult by the engineer’s actions. Those actions included alleged “failure to develop good-quality specifications, insistence on performance of unnecessary work that delayed the construction project, and failure to approve certain payments by the owner.” Continue »

Competitive AdvantageMore Like This

Actuarial projections show Americans are living longer. However, if they are truly to enjoy their retirement years, they need to look differently at their lifetime income needs. A new discussion paper, “Risky Business: Living Longer Without Income for Life,” developed by the American Academy of Actuaries’ Lifetime Income Risk Joint Task Force, explores the difficulties awaiting people in retirement who lack a plan for lifetime income, offers steps individuals can take to prevent shortfalls in retirement income, and discusses public policy options and education initiatives aimed at addressing the problem of inadequate lifetime income. Continue »

Asset ProtectionMore Like This

The construction and building material supply industries have significant credit challenges. Credit managers or directors of credit constantly balance the need to accept more revenue while mitigating financial risk. It’s a very difficult job, but following three steps of a successful ARM (accounts receivable management) program can help maintain the balance. Continue »

Performance BondMore Like This

Despite the benefits of pre-qualification services, contract completion protection and payment protection, misconceptions persist about performance and payment bonds. A proactive approach to communication and a cooperative approach to claims are critical to realizing how bonds can function as successful risk transfer mechanisms. Continue »

Risk ManagementMore Like This

Risk management is a broad topic and resources are seemingly endless. Here’s a helpful (but by no means complete) list of 25 risk management websites that include information on construction accounting, insurance and surety bonding, and risk management along with a short list of government agencies that provide resources on everything from regulations and safety to risk management and surety bonding. Continue »

Best PracticesMore Like This

Falls cost business owners millions of dollars each year in lost time, compensation and third party lawsuits. In this three-part series, Risk Management addressed important ingredients that must be included in any good fall prevention or protection program. Fall Protection & Prevention Part I covered fall prevention, including harness types. Fall Protection & Prevention Part II covered connectors and anchorages. The series concludes with vital information on lifelines, fall arresters, equipment care and maintenance, and rescue and escape. Continue »

Each year, the Merchants Bonding Company™Leaderboard Program salutes agency partners who have demonstrated their surety savvy and collaboration for growth. We salute Holmes Murphy & Associates of Sioux Falls, SD, for attaining the Champions Tour of surety professionals. Congratulations to Greg Krier for surety professionalism in 2012. Merchants Bonding has partnered with Holmes Murphy & Associates for 25 years. We thank them for the successes we’ve had together and recognize them for sharing our common sense vision. See our online salute to Holmes Murphy of Sioux Falls, SD here. Continue »

Best PracticesMore Like This

As a timely conclusion to the series on incentive compensation plans, FMI just released its Incentive Compensation Effectiveness Study: The 2013 U.S. Construction Industry Incentive Compensation Survey. The report is based on the survey results of 224 top executives, found 88 percent of the companies are offering incentive plans. However, only 21 percent of those offering the plans consider them to be working “very effectively.” To help answer why, the study looked at the seven critical issues providing best practices for each. Continue »

Each year, the Merchants Bonding Company™Leaderboard Program salutes agency partners who have demonstrated their surety savvy and collaboration for growth. We salute CHS Surety of The Woodlands, TX for attaining the Champions Tour of surety professionals. Congratulations to Scott Chapman, Kevin McQuain & Justin McQuain for surety professionalism in 2012. Merchants Bonding has partnered with CHS Surety for over a decade. We thank them for the successes we’ve had together and recognize them for sharing our common sense vision. See our online salute to CHS Surety of The Woodlands, TX here. Continue »