(March 10, 4:02 p.m.) MEI Computer Technology Group Inc., a Morristown, N.J., company that changed its focus to trade promotion management in the last decade, reported 100% revenue growth in 2008 and hopes to continue expanding with its software.

The software is meant to help companies manage promotions with retailers by tracking discounts, mainly. The software system can work with any consumer packaged good. The company currently has just a few products in the produce department that are managed by its trade promotion management system, said Mary Jameson, manager of channel relationships and business development.

“When produce companies are putting things on sale and promoting, they’re putting a lot of money into that to get the return on investment and increased demand,” Jameson said. “Our product helps those companies do that.”

Jameson said the MEI system can integrate with different systems, including the company’s sales tracking system and transaction information from retailers.

“This links budgeting, planning, payments, deductions and analysis all together, so companies are going to one source to look at how their business is going,” Jameson said.

Jameson explained the system with an example of bagged salad on sale two for $5.

“That’s not the retailer that puts that on sale, it’s the manufacturer who’s putting it at a discounted cost to the retailer, who’s passing that along,” Jameson said.

The manufacturer enters the promotion into the software’s calendar, which tracks quantities, prices and dates of certain promotions. Then, when the retailer takes its deduction on the promoted item, the manufacturer is better able to connect that deduction with its partner program.

“When retailers are looking for payment on marking down that cost, they take a deduction,” Jameson said. “A big problem for the manufacturer is that they don’t always see which promotion that lines up with because there’s too much going on.”

Jameson said trade spending comes up as the second largest cost on most manufacturers’ balance sheets, just behind cost of goods.

“With the economy, this is when it’s really beneficial for produce manufacturers,” Jameson said. “Companies are getting tighter and making the most out of their dollars is really beneficial. With our tool, they will be able to tell exactly where their dollar is going.”

MEI is also reaching out into the organic and natural foods market, a new initiative within the last year.

“They’re experiencing growth pangs and our system can really help them,” Jameson said.

Jameson said the company is expanding its focus to include more of the Canadian market.

“We are a Canadian-based company and for the last couple of years we focused on the U.S., but we’re trying to expand into Canada.”