The Computer Revolution/Business/Advances

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The Computer Revolution as a Business Tool[edit | edit source]

Computers are an indispensable tool for doing business. This is the plain truth that all businesses large or small must understand. When I was a kid, on allowance day, I'd cycle over to Mr. Lee's candy store and buy 25 cents of mixed candy. Mr. Lee knowing how much I preferred the sugar coated strawberries to those mini-tootsie rolls would fill the order (a little brown bag) top heavy with those delicious strawberries, a smattering of other sweets, and at the most one or two tootsie rolls. Unlike the competition up the street at the Blue Jeans candy store where no matter how you protested the order was always filled with goodies in equal amounts, Mr. Lee understood the business principle of customization. In fact, I'm sure that if Mr. Lee were doing business today, he would be keeping track of his customer's buying habits with a computer like so many successful businesses are doing.

Consider this: When you shop at retailers like Superstore, Home Depot, Staples and so on, virtually all of the products on the shelf are there in an attempt to fit the shopper’s tastes. How do these retailers know the shopping habits of thousands people? Simple, they are tracking and recording purchases at the check out counter with a computer. More sophisticated software programs will record demographics like age, address, sex, occupation, and how much money you spend.

But computers don't just help record customer purchases. They are critical in managing inventories of literally thousands of products. This aids retailers in deciding how much and when to replenish there stocks; what is selling like hotcakes and what isn’t moving.

Perhaps most important of all, computers can track the flow of money. Accounting applications like Excel and Quicken allow retailers to keep record of debits and credits, profits and losses, charitable donations, and theft. They are useful for keeping the all important tax records too. Computers streamline business and keep costs down while enabling faster and more efficient service.