Twenty-five years ago this month, an era was born - one of sweeping changes in retailing and business management as scanning morphed from a shopping convenience to a key link in business supply chain management. For all the fanfare and wonder of the first grocery store scan in the US, no one could have foreseen how this laser-based device would reshape modern life. Slowly, the skepticism vanished. Cashiers welcomed the ease and found it hard to go back to work at a store without scanners. Customers (slowly) began to trust them to check out accurately. They preferred the itemized receipts to those that showed only an amount rung up under "meat" or "grocery."