Distribution in the Digital Age
Observed from 30,000 feet, the modern system for delivering manufactured goods appears little changed from what it was 30, 40, 50 years ago—trucks roll, trains rumble, ships ply the harbors and canals. Only a closer view reveals the logistical revolution made possible by rolling stock, just-in-time ordering and outsourced production. Similarly, the average consumer picking up the latest best-seller at their local bookstore is unaware of how book distribution models are changing. While the book they hold in their hands may adhere to the old “print-and-deliver” model, for instance, the one next to it may have been “deliver and print,” as in large distributors receiving and storing electronic files, and handling the printing themselves.