As anyone in business knows, there’s nothing certain in this world but change. Editorial Director Bob Mader, who has been a part of CONTRACTOR Magazine since 1984, is no longer with the Informa family.
Bob was a fantastic boss and mentor and he remains a good friend. His insights into the workings of the industry were profound, his knowledge of the technology was comprehensive, and there didn’t seem to be a player in the game he wasn’t on a first-name basis with. He wrote with the kind of clarity that only comes with clear understanding and firm conviction. I’m going to miss reading his stuff, and I’m really going to miss working alongside him.
The move was part of sweeping changes on the editorial side of our company that affected several publications. The hope is that under the new organization we will be able to deliver to our readers – both in print and online – a higher quality and a higher volume of the content you find most useful.
I hope for regular readers of this magazine I’m not a completely unfamiliar name. I’ve been working for CONTRACTOR under several changes of ownership since 1996. I started on the publishing production side, but as time went by I took on more and more editorial responsibilities.
One of those responsibilities (and maybe the one I have the most fun with) is writing up case studies. For about twenty years now I have been calling up contractors to talk with them about their work. That’s how I learned this industry; from talking to contractors about their problems, their successes, their hopes for the future.
I’ve talked to contractors who consider tankless water heaters to be a ‘scam.’ Who don’t believe any geothermal application will ever deliver return on investment.
And from them I learned the real value of the trade press is in helping people manage change. Codes are changing. Customer demands are changing. Technology is changing. According to the MCAA's President-elect Michael Brandt in this month’s cover interview the biggest problem facing contractors today is “Staying up with the technology change curve.”
This publication that you’re holding in your hands or reading on your mobile device can help you stay the one or two vital steps ahead that can mean success for your business.
I know because I’ve seen the other side. I’ve talked to contractors who consider tankless water heaters a “scam.” Who don’t believe any geothermal application will ever deliver return on investment. Who think switching to flat-rate pricing will destroy their business. Who think low-flow toilets are operating at standards from decades past. Who think using PEX tubing is asking for a lawsuit!
You know what a lot of those contractors have in common? A never-ending string of problems. They’re those guys who are always working harder and harder, only to see less and less revenue at the end of each month. Those guys who, when the time comes to retire, discover that the only thing of value their company has is the one thing they can’t sell: themselves. Sound familiar? Staying informed has real value.
Since 1954 this publication – in all its many forms, throughout many changes in leadership – has been about helping contractors run a better business. Technology will progress, the market will rise and fall and, yes, people will come and go, but that’s one thing that isn’t going to change.