Plumbing & Mechanical’sannual Case History issue gives our advertisers the chance to tell you how their products performed successfully in the field. While we publish these stories about other companies, we normally don’t publish a case history aboutPM.

Call it a happy coincidence that we decided to feature Pine State Services on our cover this month. You won’t find Pine State’s story in our Case History section, but I consider it an excellent example of howPMhelped one of its readers succeed.

Owner Sam Marcisso knew where he wanted to take Pine State Plumbing; what frustrated him was not knowing how to get there. A number of you may know exactly what Sam was feeling.

Then, about three years ago, he received his latest issue ofPMand spotted an ad forPMcolumnist Al Levi’s consulting business. Sam hired Al to help him reach his goals and the rest, as they say, is history, which you can read about on page 40.

I find much to like about Pine State’s story. Three points come to mind immediately.

First,PMoffers you many resources that can help you succeed in business. By readingPM’sarticles, columnists and ads, you can connect with trade associations, best practices groups, software developers, product manufacturers and management consultants such as Al Levi’s Appleseed Business.

No one needs to tell you how difficult business is these days. The resources you can discover inPlumbing & Mechanicalcan show you that you don’t have to go it alone. Reach out and get the help you need to succeed.

The second thing I like about Pine State’s story is it demonstrates the value of a good trade magazine,PMin particular. When we surveyed many of you less than a year ago, 75 percent told us you use trade magazines as your primary source to obtain industry information. You also gave high marks to e-newsletters (64 percent), trade magazines’ Web sites (40 percent) and trade magazines in digital format (39 percent) as places where you get information.

In another survey sent to many of you last year, 76 percent told us thatPMis the one plumbing magazine you find most useful to your work; 77 percent saidwww.PMmag.comis the plumbing Web site you find most useful to your work. Similarly, 73 percent said you would suggest to companies that they run their ads primarily inPMto reach industry professionals like yourself.

The third facet of Pine State’s story that impresses me relates to the company’s green mission. Sam Marcisso realized he could not position Pine State as the area’s green authority without getting his business operations on track and employees on board.

Whether a company manufactures products, or installs and services them, claiming to be green isn’t going to be enough to satisfy customers. You have to back up these claims with performance and technical expertise.

We’ve made this point in this column before, mostly in reference to manufacturers. Pine State’s story shows the same thinking applies to you as contractors.

The best type of compliment I’ve received over the years comes from people who tell me they’ve applied to their business an idea or practice that they read about in one of our articles. We’ll continue to bring you the information you need to create more success stories like Pine State.