From the category archives: Business

Business

Surety and Technology: Cybersecurity Best Practices

“It won’t happen to us, and companies in our industry are not a hacker’s target.”  

That’s an outdated notion in an age when, according to security experts, 4,000 ransomware attacks take place per day. In 2017 alone, the costs to companies will exceed $5 billion, and that’s accounting for just one of many types of cybersecurity threats.   

Construction and surety companies can minimize the threat of cyber-attacks by implementing the following preventive measures. 

The Building Blocks of a People-driven Tech Culture

The value technology brings to the equipment industry can’t be overlooked—from proven systems such as telematics tracking and total stations to newer wearables and virtual reality headsets. Considering the technology adoption rate in the last five years is the industry’s highest ever, it appears there’s more to come, and the companies that embrace these trends have a strong competitive advantage over the ones that don’t. 

Yet, challenges come with implementing technology. Many company leaders would love to adopt more technology, whether BIM software or drones, but most don’t feel they have enough people or time for successful implementation. 

What Contractors Should Consider Before Taking on Hurricane Rebuilding Projects

This fall presented the most devastating hurricane season in recent memory, with four storms registering as a Category 3 or higher. After the fact, the rebuilding process presents unique challenges, particularly for those doing the actual reconstruction and restoration work.

The Inside Scoop on Developing In-house Apps

With hundreds of apps available for Apple and Android devices that assist contractors with everything from bidding and estimating to project management and closeout, why would anyone develop an in-house app?

Several reasons drove four contractors to spend months developing company-specific apps, including a dislike of paperwork, a drive toward efficiency and a lack of off-the-shelf solutions that cater to construction operations.

Make a Great Impression With Best-in-class Marketing Strategies

Many contractors find marketing to be daunting or frustrating, but the heart of marketing is simply understanding and managing how businesses make first impressions. A properly managed marketing program can give contractors more control over managing first impressions than ever before. By incorporating the following tips into their marketing efforts, any contractor can easily improve the impressions they make. 

Bonding as an Empowerment Tool

It’s a fact: Small businesses are the backbone of the American economy. And surety bonding is the lifeblood of any successful contractor, regardless of size.  

Another fact: Construction is risky business. Contractors often face a myriad of challenges during the life cycle of a construction project. 

The Power of Partnership: Choosing the Best Surety Agent for the Job

  Thanks to several years of favorable industry-wide results, there is plenty of capacity in the surety marketplace. Carriers and agents are aggressively competing for contractors’ business. Most companies have probably received numerous solicitations from agents and brokers near and far, via the internet, promising larger programs, better terms and lower rates. 

In today’s soft market environment, practically any licensed insurance agent can help a firm obtain bonding. It is a buyer’s market right now and a great opportunity for contractors to establish their first bond line or reevaluate their current situation.

How to Handle Higher Project Volume Without Overextending the Business

  Higher project volume—whether it’s more projects of the same size or the same number of projects at an increased size—can place stress on any contractor. The starting point for handling that stress is the business plan, which should be prepared and continually updated. Accordingly, contractors that decide to increase project volume should only consider doing so after careful planning.

Keep in mind, the business plan for well-run organizations incorporates the five Ms: money, machine, material, manpower and methodology. 

Filling the Surety Industry's Generation Gap

Word of the construction industry’s labor shortage is being heard loud and clear: Two-thirds of U.S. contractors are having a hard time finding qualified workers and possess a virtually nonexistent backfill of young talent entering the industry. But what about the surety professionals working behind the scenes? Are they facing the same challenges?

Construction Companies Cannot Afford to Overlook Digital Marketing

  Whether a business is selling a construction-related product or a specialty construction service, it needs to reach its target audience online by embracing digital marketing. This includes any marketing efforts done online: blogging, social media, email marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), website development and more. It’s expected that digital will account for more than 75 percent of marketing budgets in the next five years. 
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