When it comes to technology, most independent operators rely on their wholesalers for guidance and support, while some are turning to technology suppliers to host their IT operations. On the other hand, Van's Markets, a family-owned food retailer based in Bozeman, Mont., with eight stores in the central part of the state, is that rare independent that largely manages and even develops its own technology applications. One application in particular, a three-year-old database management system ...

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