If there is one conversation we love to explore in the pages of SNIPS, it is how the industry is changing. Yet since officially taking over the editorial reins of the magazine this summer, I’ve spoken with enough contractors to know that the industry has already changed — and those changes are far from over.

From the shop floor to the foundry, our business is in the throes of remodeling shaped by politics, new and innovative products, and, of course, price. But rather than clinging to the notion that things will eventually go back to the way they were, we are putting the past to bed and focusing on the future at SNIPS. And you’ll find this reflected in this issue.

The Oklahoma-based ACP Sheet Metal Company is what some would call an early adapter to change. Using a mix of software and state-of-the-art hardware, courtesy of Mestek Machinery, the company has been able to cut costs of material waste while increasing its productivity, precision, and strengthening its building information modeling system.

As discussed in our “New View” feature story (on page 21), the right combination of software and hardware in a product can make its users feel like they have superpowers. But, super products aside, I’ve quickly learned that this industry is all about the people. 

In “An Age-Old Problem” (on page 24), we zero in on how to connect with a segment of our population called “millenials.” Whether you like it or not — most prefer not — this generation speaks a language of its own, and they are the future of our workforce. Like technology, it is crucial for our industry to learn how best to embrace this generation in order to better our business. And the same can be said of embracing change.


This was the beginning of “The Snips,” as the magazine would be called in 1932. The name was thought up by Carter and Walter J. Joy Sr., then the president of Republic Metals of Chicago, one of the publication’s early advertisers. According to a September 1973 Snips article, the name was chosen because the tool was synonymous with the trade and most similar journals had long titles.

In the next few months, you’ll notice an exciting continental shift in the focus of our magazine’s content and on our website, snipsmag.com. In order to keep up with the changes in our industry, we are making some much-needed changes of our own.

But here’s what we can guarantee will remain the same: great stories, products and people highlighted in our pages to give you the tools you need to make the cut as a contractor in the sheet metal, heating, cooling and ventilation industry.

Please consider this a renewed promise to you, our reader, as we march forward to the future. And I, your editor, am so grateful to have you marching there with us.

Emell Derra Adolphus