One of the mantras of retail IT departments is that for a major technology initiative to work, it needs the wholehearted endorsement of senior management. At E.W. James & Sons, Union City, Tenn., senior management support for IT projects is not a problem, since its president, Kenneth Pink, is a former chief information officer who sets most of the IT strategy for the company. So as 76-year-old E.W. James proceeds with an ambitious computer-assisted ordering (CAO) project at its 18 ...

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