Smart Concrete Expected to Revolutionize Building Structures in the Future

Concrete is one of the most commonplace construction materials in the world. Cheap, strong and easily made, concrete allows cities to reach the sky, builds levies to hold back flood waters, and bridges to help roads stretch across the land.

Concrete technology dates back as far as the ancient Romans. Today, it is still mixed with the same three ingredients the ancients used: water, cement binder and gravel. When gravel is mined from a hillside, it is made up of boulders and cobblestones. On its surface, concrete hardly seems like the substance of innovation. But in fact, it’s an example of how the innovation process sometimes works, whereby a scientist, engineer or inventor makes an important discovery and then must figure out how it can be used to make improvements.

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Luxury Brands, Global Markets, Diversification and Millennials

What is the future for luxury brands and how is 2017 shaping up? This is the question that brands which cater to the affluent are asking, and they are now asking it with a millennial twist. After a challenging 2016 that saw sales decline across multiple major luxury market categories, several distinct trends have emerged.

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House Republicans Pass AHCA; Heads to Senate

On Thursday, May 4, by a vote of 217 to 213 (with 20 Republicans voting against the bill), the U.S. House of Representatives passed an amended version of the American Health Care Act (AHCA), which repeals and replaces significant portions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

This bill comes several weeks after U.S. House of Representatives’ Speaker Paul Ryan pulled the AHCA from the floor once it was clear that, at that time, the bill was short on votes to pass. In large part, the original bill failed because the more conservative wing of the Republican Party, known as the Freedom Caucus, was against the bill because of its preservation of certain ACA provisions.

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Why Our Clients Chose MMA for Their Surety Bonding Needs

As with many fast growing companies, increased growth means increased risk. But when it comes to construction, there is enormous risk for both assets and injuries. MMA supports construction companies and contractors with a dedicated, global network of surety consultants with deep industry knowledge. MMA’s in-house bond professionals save companies time and effort when trying to find the right surety. Our professionals understand the complexities of the surety bonding marketplace and can find solutions that meet your demanding needs.

We take the time to identify a competitive bond program that provides consistency and flexibility, allowing you to focus more time on running your business. MMA’s surety skills and industry knowledge enable us to deliver the most successful and innovative surety programs for contractors large and small.

Contact MMA for a surety bond consultation, and learn more about our industry-leading, innovative bond consulting services

Elon Musk and Other Innovators Revolutionizing Engineering and Construction Sector

Disruption is all around us. Today, we have more data, modes of communication and computing power than ever before. There is an explosion of technology compelling the job site into a new era. Imagine the possibilities that exist for transforming the business of construction.

Elon Musk and other prominent innovators, disruptive engineers and builders are changing the construction sector in a big way. What was once the basis for science fiction stories, such as houses printed with 3D printers, hospitals built by robots and pre-fabricated skyscrapers, is now becoming the new reality.

These new technologies are revolutionizing the engineering and construction (E&C) sector at an accelerated pace, according to a report by the World Economic Forum and The Boston Consulting Group (BCG.) The report, “Shaping the Future of Construction: Insights to Redesign the Industry,” reviews 10 leaders in E&C innovation (including Elon Musk), identifies key performance indicators, and makes policy recommendations for advancing innovative technological developments like construction information modeling, wireless technology, 3D printing and autonomous robotic equipment.

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Top 8 Ways to Improve Employee Engagement and Reduce Turnover

Employee turnover, whether it is voluntary or involuntary, is expensive. In some instances, turnover costs can range from 93 to 200 percent of an employee’s exit salary.

The costs of employee turnover can include expenses for:

  • Advertising
  • Interviewing
  • Recruitment
  • Relocation
  • Onboarding
  • Training
  • Overtime and temporary staff hires
  • Lost knowledge
  • Lost productivity
  • Lost business

These costs can really add up for companies that aren’t investing adequately in their human capital. A three-year study by Sirota Survey Intelligence, Predicting Pent-Up Turnover, identified how managers can encourage employee commitment and retention. The study found that management controls the drivers that affect employee turnover and engagement because employee engagement is the strongest predictor of positive organizational performance and retention. Here are 8 ways your company can improve employee engagement and retention:

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Why Choose Marsh & McLennan Agency for Your Personal Insurance Needs

MMA provides comprehensive private client services, ensuring protection from the complex liability exposures which accompany families with substantial assets. From multi-generational planning and comprehensive home and auto policies to the most exotic of coverages, MMA is your resource for all your personal insurance needs.

Our private client team will examine your personal insurance profile for gaps in coverage to identify, evaluate and determine the best method to protect your assets from the variety of risks and exposures that can lead to financial loss. Products and services include: Homeowners, Auto, Exotic Vehicles, Valuables/Collections , Umbrella, Domestic Workers Compensation, Aviation, Boats, Yachts and Watercraft, Family Office Practice, Farms, Ranches and Equine , Kidnap and Ransom, Employment Practices Liability and Non Profit D&O.

Contact MMA and learn more about our Private Client Services.

How Will the New Gig Economy Change the Future of Work in America?

Not very long ago, most people worked in “real” jobs that paid a fixed salary every month, allowed them to take paid sick and vacation leave and became the basis of a stable financial future. Today, more and more people are choosing to make a living doing freelance or “gig” types of jobs rather than work full-time. Some people are excited about the possibilities of this “gig economy,” citing opportunities for freedom and flexibility as well as creativity and innovation. But not everyone is enamored with the concept; they fear a future of disenfranchised workers trying to scrape up their next small project.

Over the last 20 years the proportion of Americans who work in jobs that are described as “gig-based,” “freelance,” or “project-based” has increased by about 27 percent. This means that the “gig economy” is growing much faster than traditional, corporate-based employment. The change has occurred even more rapidly in certain industries, such as ground transportation like Uber and Lyft, where independent contractor jobs have increased by more than 44 percent over payroll employee jobs. What’s more, 81 percent of these new gig economy jobs have occurred in 25 metropolitan areas in the U.S. such as Austin, Texas and Nashville, Tennessee.

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Why Work for Marsh & McLennan Agency?

MMA is dedicated to addressing the needs of businesses across the United States. We provide insightful, targeted counsel to find the right solutions for our clients in the most unique situations and diverse industries. It’s our talented and dedicated employees that make this happen every day. We hire and train associates who love challenges and bring passion to their work. Our core values of diversity, inclusion and corporate social responsibility demonstrate our commitment to stand for what is right. We ensure our associates have the freedom and flexibility to think and work creatively while striving to maintain a healthy work-life balance.

For more information please contact MMA for job opportunities or other information related to risk management, surety, employee benefits or private client insurance information.

IRS Business Mileage Rates Down for 2017

The IRS has issued the standard mileage rate for 2017, which went into effect January 1, 2017. The new reimbursement rate is 53.5 cents per mile for business miles driven, which is down from .54 cents in 2016. These rates apply to the use of a car, van, pick-up or panel truck. The mileage reimbursement rate for medical or moving purposes is 17 cents per mile, down from 19 cents per mile in 2016. The reimbursement rate for miles driven in service of a charitable organization is 14 cents. This rate is fixed by Congress and is never adjusted by inflation.

In case you’re wondering why there’s a difference between the standard business mileage reimbursement rate and the rate for medical or moving purposes, it has to do with the criteria used to calculate the different rates. The standard business rate uses an annual study of the fixed and variable costs of operating a vehicle, taking into account fixed and variable costs, such as gas, oil, insurance, tires, repairs, maintenance, and depreciation. The rate that applies to moving or medical costs is calculated using only the variable costs of gas and oil.

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