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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 »

Performance BondMore Like This

In most cases, deciding whether to file a payment bond claim or a mechanic’s lien claim is simple because only one option is available. On unbonded private projects, the general rule is unpaid subcontractors or suppliers can file a mechanic’s lien against the project jobsite. A mechanic’s lien claim asserts a security interest in the title of the property itself. These claims typically must be filed with the recorder’s office in the county where the property is located, and the claims usually are asserted against the owner’s interest in the property. Continue »

Asset ProtectionMore Like This

A successful incentive compensation plan focuses on achieving company goals by driving the right behaviors in employees. One of the biggest failures of incentive compensation programs is they often do not take into account all the key drivers that will make the company successful. How does a company determine if its incentive plan is effective? If the answer is “no” to any of the following questions, chances are the company is not getting the most benefit out of its plan. Continue »

Competitive AdvantageMore Like This

The theory behind incentive compensation is money motivates employees to perform well. Unfortunately, many contractors spend a lot of money on employee incentives and receive little value in return.

Employees may become angry with the company because their own expectations for bonuses are not met. Morale is hurt when employees work hard all year, yet the profits of the company still lag because employees are working inefficiently. Contractors that genuinely try to reward hard-working employees are frustrated when they realize they unintentionally created a negative company atmosphere. Unfortunately, this is what many companies face when they incorrectly design and implement incentive compensation plans. Continue »

Each year, the Merchants Bonding Company™Leaderboard Program salutes agency partners who have demonstrated their surety savvy and collaboration for growth. We salute Rust Ewing Insurance of Texas City, TX for attaining the Champions Tour of surety professionals. Congratulations to Mark Smith for surety professionalism in 2012. Merchants Bonding has partnered with Rust Ewing Insurance 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 Rust Ewing Insurance of Texas City, TX here. Continue »

Asset ProtectionMore Like This

Since the downturn of the economy, Americans are scrutinizing where and how to spend their money. The care with which people analyze their spending extends to the legal industry, with consumers taking a hard look at what they really need and how they can get the most value for the fewest dollars. Continue »

Best PracticesMore Like This

Extreme weather conditions–from high heat and humidity to heavy rain and severe storms–can mean the difference between remaining on track or falling behind. Summer 2012 brought extreme heat and drought to many parts of the United States and ranked as the third hottest summer on record. Not surprisingly, many professionals are turning a watchful eye as summer 2013 begins. Continue »

Best PracticesMore Like This

According to A.T. Kearney, 63 percent of projects are over budget and 74 percent are not meeting schedules. World Risk Day 2013, the second annual global forum on May 14, 2013, brought together industry thought leaders and peers to discuss the latest risk and project management ideas and best practices to understand why projects aren’t meeting schedule and budget. More than 3,200 people registered for the free World Risk Day Virtual Summit, which featured webinars from risk and project thought leaders from around the world. The webinars may be viewed at http://www.worldriskday.com. Continue »

Risk ManagementMore Like This

Employee productivity is a crucial piece of the puzzle of running a successful business. While incorporating air movement on construction sites might not be at the forefront of owners’ and operators’ minds, the health and safety of their employees often is a top priority. Connecting the dots between air movement and the well-being of employees ensures everyone working on construction sites remains productive and healthy—especially during hot summer months. Continue »

Contract BondMore Like This

Bid, performance, and payment bonds protect the project owner from contractor default and offer protections to general contractors and subcontractors. The bid bond ensures the general contractor will enter into the contract at the price bid and provide performance and payment bonds if awarded the contract. A payment bond guarantees the general contractor will pay its subcontractors, materials supplies and labor under the terms of the contract. A performance bond ensures the contractor will complete the contract according to its terms and conditions. Continue »

Expanding Your BusinessMore Like This

FMI’s research consultant Rick Tison and Michael Davis, director of Professional Liability Products at Zurich North America Construction,, continue the dialogue on changes in today’s challenging operating environment and how new techniques, delivery methods and construction materials are changing the game of managing risk in the construction process, as well as how best-in-class firms are responding. Continue »