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Helping craft breweries find their untapped potential Silversun’s focus is helping client firms improve efficiencies

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Craft brewers won’t be a big part of Silversun’s business, says Mark Meller, but it’s one way it identifies needs.
Craft brewers won’t be a big part of Silversun’s business, says Mark Meller, but it’s one way it identifies needs. - ()

To boost business, Silversun Technologies Inc. CEO Mark Meller decided it was time for a beer run.

The Livingston-based business software company unveiled cloud-based platforms in January for the craft brewery industry. Silversun found technology-thirsty customers eager to tap its services, which the company says help brewers more efficiently manage their manufacturing, including how they track raw materials, plan keg sizes and other forecasting.

“We found a lot of small brewers (were using) Excel spreadsheets and index cards,” Meller said. “Stuff like that — circa 1982.”

Meller stresses that this product line — whose software is branded with names like BeerRun and BeerPub, and has been sold to 24 craft breweries — is only a small part of Siliversun's business. But it reflects an approach Meller said is key to success.

“I don't envision it being a large part of our business,” Meller said. “But it's symptomatic of our strategy. We identify needs. We do the market research.”

For its bread and butter, Silversun resells financial accounting software published by Sage Software Inc. to help small and midsize companies comply with financial reporting requirements. That means managing functions like accounts payable and receivable and inventory management.

In the big picture, Meller said, Silversun products help businesses to electronically perform tasks that would require massive manpower to perform manually.

“By the time you multiply the numbers, you would need a population of Egypt to make it manageable,” Meller said.

Silversun's own numbers are increasing dramatically. The company reported slightly more than $4 million in revenue in the quarter ended March 31, up 39 percent from $2.91 million in the first quarter of 2012.

Silversun also swung to a profit of $116,000, compared with a $708,000 loss in the year-ago quarter. Meller said Silversun now employs 76 in Livingston.

Silversun, whose business runs through subsidiary SWK Technologies, has additional offices in Syracuse, N.Y., Skoke, Ill., and soon Bethesda, Md., where the company plans to complete an acquisition of Vicor Business Services Inc.

Looking ahead, Meller said the company expects to grow organically and through further acquisitions. Silversun has retained Network 1 Financial Securities in Red Bank to advise it on potential acquisitions that can enhance the company's bottom line.

“We're aggressive on the acquisition trail,” Meller said.

It's a trail Meller didn't plan on taking when he earned his law degree at Boston University in 1983. A few years later, he found he had entrepreneurial aspirations.

“It's a lot more fun, not to mention lucrative,” he said. “You get to meet a lot of interesting people. You learn a lot about how people make a living. Skin a cat a different way.”

E-mail to: tomz@njbiz.com
On Twitter: @biztzanki

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