In 1978, Charles Greer, an alumnus of MIT/Sloan and McKinsey, was interested in acquiring a manufacturing company in the northeastern United States.   Frustrated in his search by the lack of quality reference materials, he founded Commerce Register to publish directories covering the manufacturing sector.

We covered all manufacturing companies in the northeast with 5 or more employees, building our content database through both primary research (direct phone and mail communications with the subject manufacturers) and secondary research (newspapers, magazines, government filings and other sources).   Because of the dearth of commercial software for DEC PDP-11 computers, we also undertook a significant and ongoing software development effort, creating original programs to maintain the content database and support our publishing operations.

In addition to publishing printed directories, our software allowed us to offer targeted subsets of our content, tailored to a customer’s specifications (for example: “Can you supply a floppy disk with all the envelope manufacturers in northern NJ with over 25 employees?”) and known as “custom lists”.   This ability became the foundation of our data processing services.

Our catalog of directory titles included:

  • Connecticut/Rhode Island Directory of Manufacturers
  • Maine/Vermont/New Hampshire Directory of Manufacturers
  • Maryland/Delaware Directory of Manufacturers
  • Massachusetts Directory of Manufacturers
  • New Jersey Directory of Manufacturers
  • Metro New York Directory of Manufacturers
  • Upstate New York Directory of Manufacturers
  • Ohio Directory of Manufacturers
  • Pennsylvania Directory of Manufacturers

We published over 100 editions of the nine directories, and in 1997 sold the publishing assets to Manufacturers’ News, Inc. so that we could focus exclusively on data processing.

Data Processing

The company was founded to solve a problem, that of the lack of quality resources providing information on manufacturing companies. Our migration to data processing, and every subsequent significant evolution, was similarly driven by our desire to solve a problem or address a client need.