Technology at the store level is what is most apparent to shoppers. Yet back at chain headquarters, numerous systems have been used to manage the company as a whole. In the 1960s, supermarkets began equipping their headquarters with mainframes for billing, accounts payable and payroll, noted Daniel Hopping, consulting marketing manager, IBM, Raleigh, N.C. Today, they are using large data warehouses from IBM and NCR to support server-based applications like customer relationship management ...

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