Classification Merchandising: An Overlooked Opportunity for Increasing Merchandising Profitability

by Cyrus Wilson, Charles Greenidge

Fall 1969

Volume 12
Issue 1

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The use of Electronic Data Processing (EDP) in business has generally been justified on one or both of two main grounds. For one thing, EDP has been used to automate certain highly specialized and already well-defined manual processes and, hence, has served as a means of reducing expenses and improving productivity. Second, EDP has offered management a broader information base for decision making and has thus furnished a means of improving overall performance and increasing profitability. The first of these two applications, which is often called the housekeeping function of EDP has generally been the best understood and most widely accepted. In fact, since the late 1950s, when the giant retailers first began installing EDP, most applications have been limited to the automation of manual accounting functions where productivity gains could be quickly exploited. The second application, the one which rationalizes EDP as a management decision-making tool has been until recently a rather vague and poorly understood promise held out for some unspecified point in the future. And yet it is this broader application which promises the greatest rewards, especially in retailing.

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