Throughout this winter, which has been unseasonably warm in some regions of the country and strikingly cold in others, there has been much talk of weather and climate change. The extremes presented by Mother Nature are sometimes difficult to predict, but their impact is felt by all. This is why it's important to watch the horizon for signs of what is to come.
Of course, the trends making headlines this winter are not just cold snaps on the beaches of California and the replacement of snowmen with summery Sno-Cones in Central Park. There has been much to report on the extreme variations in profit margins experienced by audio, video, data and security system designers and installers in various regions of North America. Right here, in the pages of SCN, we've reported that business is booming in the oil patches sprinkled around Canada and the U.S. Meanwhile, in neighboring states, tightening budgets are making low-voltage a low priority in some vertical markets.
In this business, such extremes are so common that many owners and managers are comforted by the one constant they've been able to identify: when one market segment goes down, another one goes up. This being the case, it's the businesses that are prepared to change course when clouds are on the horizon that will survive in even the harshest of business climates.
Our purpose at SCN is to be the barometer for your bottom line. We are in constant contact with consultants, contractors, manufacturers and reps nationwide and abroad, asking them what changes they are seeing in their day-to-day operations and how they expect the present to affect the future of their businesses. Our focus on business and technology trends is not merely aimed to provide you with a shortsighted report on the conditions that exist today. We provide you with the analysis and accurate predictions of our industry-leading columnists and contributors, whose expertise has made a name for their companies and for our magazine.
In keeping with our mission to provide you with real-world knowledge and advice that you can apply to your business immediately, last year we established our "Margin Builders" feature. These are helpful synopses of how companies just like yours managed to increase their profits with a few savvy maneuvers. We've had such a good response to these practical business assessments, this year we will introduce more tools to help you build your business.
It is with an eye toward the future that we report to you about the goings-on at SCN in the present. It is with regret that we report the departure of our editor, Joy Zaccaria, who has left to pursue interests outside of the industry. Her efforts in improving our magazine and establishing the Margin Builders focus are genuinely appreciated, and she will be dearly missed. Moving forward, SCN is preparing to deepen its industry commitment with new programs, an enhanced website, and a new "Good, Better, Best" editorial supplement designed to provide a clear look the many product variables which influence your business. Today and into the future, we intend to keep an eye on the business radar and report our findings to you.