Sea History 009 - Autumn 1977

Page 8

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IBM ReP-orts

Information: key to better service for you

as a consumer.

Shoppers in a supermarket near Baltimore now spend nearly 30 percent less time in the checkout I ine. Guests of an Atlanta hotel can register in just seconds after their arrival. And at a Nebraska savings and loan association, customers can make deposits and withdrawals 40 percent faster than before. The reason that customers of the supermarket, the hotel and the savings and loan association enjoy better, faster service is the same: computer-based systems provide these businesses with the information they need when they need itcurrent information about food prices, about available rooms, about account balances. Minimizing delays is only one of the ways in which modern information technology-from computers to office systems-can be used to benefit the consumer. For example, with timely, accurate information businesses can reduce the number of out-of-stock items, promptly answer customer inquiries, provide more personalized service and plan better to meet future consumer needs. Information technology is IBM's business-providing the tools for recording, processing, communicating, storing and retrieving information. Clearly, such information tools are increasingly important in serving the consumer today. They will become even more essential in the future as the economy continues to grow in size and complexity. For instance, today the average supermarket stocks 50 percent more products on its shelves than it did 20 years ago. And, counting various sizes and colors, a large department store now offers a choice of more than a quarter of a million items. When consumer choices expand in this way, so do the problems of business management. Fortunately, advances over the years have made it more and more economical for businesses to improve customer service through the use of information technology. For example, the cost of computer processing has come down at the rate of about 18 percent compounded annually during the past 20 years . We at IBM are committed to developing a wide range of innovative new products using information technology-products that help put information to work for people.

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