Though automating a task is almost always considered preferable to doing it manually, in the U.S. food retailing business, most retailers still like to handle store ordering manually. Among the top 10 companies on SN's Top 75 list of food retailers, just four allow computers to replenish their store shelves, determining how much of each item to order — and when to order it — to satisfy consumer demand, according to Michael Griswold, research director, retail, AMR Research, Boston. “That ...

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