Recently I interviewed Keith Bienvenu, incoming president of the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors – National Association, for an article that appears in pme’s sister publication Plumbing & Mechanical and on our website www.pmmag.com. PHCC is holding its national convention this month in Minneapolis.

Bienvenu told me PHCC is advising contractors to take this time to analyze their company’s structure and business practices to adapt their operations to the “new normal” of a constantly changing marketplace. You can apply this advice whether your business is contracting, engineering, wholesaling, manufacturing or even publishing.

Adapting our businesses to a changing market is something all of us have had to do for a long time. What’s new about the “new normal” today isn’t that change is happening. It’s really about the pace at which change occurs.

You’re going to have to make sure your firm is structured to adapt to the rapid pace of the market. In my interview with Keith Bienvenu, he went on to say many PHCC members already have made changes that put them in a good position for whatever the future brings.

In some cases, this means gaining proficiency in an emerging technology such as geothermal, solar thermal and residential fire sprinkler systems. Your firm may have diversified into new areas of expertise, or is heading in that direction.

We’ve made a number of changes at pme in the last two years, and we’re continuing to make more. Our goal is to do a better job of meeting your information needs and connecting you with your industry partners.

We introduced pme’s digital edition in 2009, which almost half of you now receive each month. While the digital edition carries the same content as our print edition, it has a number of advantages over print.

When we surveyed pme subscribers in July, 52% of respondents told us not having to store a paper copy of the magazine is the digital edition’s biggest advantage. Almost half (49%) said they like the convenience of having the digital edition delivered to their email inbox; 44% said the ability to download articles to their computer was the most appealing feature.

About one-third of survey respondents saw each of the following as digital’s advantage over print: It’s green media; they can forward an article to a colleague; and they have immediate access to industry websites via links in articles and ads. More than two-thirds of the pme readers surveyed said their consumption of e-media for business information will increase in the next five years.

More recent changes at pme include the titles of our sales and editorial staff members. Our new titles emphasize that pme provides information to you over a variety of platforms. In addition to print and digital editions of the magazine, we have www.PMEngineer.com, pme eNewsletter, webinars, live events, virtual trade shows, videos and social media.

Senior Editor Mike Miazga now is our Integrated Content Manager where he oversees editorial content on pme, pme eNewsletter and other e-media. Our Online and New Products Editor Suzette Rubio now is our Web Content and Engagement Manager to reflect the work she does on www.PMEngineer.com, Facebook and Twitter.

You’ll be the judge, of course, of how well we’re doing in giving you the information you need to run your company in the new normal. We’re easier to reach than ever, so let us know by answering our surveys or contacting us directly.

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