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50 years on from the moon landings and things have changed considerably from how we view and access the world (cheaper, quicker and safer travel) to how we can access data (Data networks, digital lines and the internet) through to what we understand about the wider universe.

I cannot profess to be an expert on any of these things but I am fascinated by them all. As a world everything is smaller and more accessible and in doing so much has changed in commerce.

Take a look through the supply chain:

1 – Suppliers. Without venturing into a world of digital, on demand and downloadable products we can see that the supply chain is vastly improved. Products which need to be kept fresh can arrive thousands of miles away, still fresh and at a ‘reasonable’ price. Drop shipping and 3PL means that you either don’t need to hold stock or it can be held on your behalf (either bonded or not) and sent direct to your user through integrations.

2 – Delivery. The options for delivery are competitive and priced for the mass market. Next day delivery and rapid ship cross continent are not only possible but commonplace. Stock can be accessed and stored easily in a destination country without the need for a human presence or indeed human touch. Sending a package used to mean either the Post Office or a specialist courier and would certainly involve a lot of your own leg work.

3 – Ordering. One of the key areas of change with so many factors affecting; A world of smaller specialist shops grew into a world of wider diversity (fuelled by the factors above) and this was then further consolidated into chains and conglomerates which have ultimately taken over. The digital space is also undergoing the same rationalisation with platforms and marketplaces meaning that anyone with a PC can sell. Orders are now processed in real time and passed straight away to the end user either via email or EDI. Though we do find that the fax machine and sales purchase orders exist. Finally (though I have restricted the changes I want to speak about) the payment profile. Cash is no longer king and we even have a rise of currencies which do not have a kingdom – the Crypto world. In the years we have been through Mail order, telephone order and even TV ordering – I remember fondly looking at Holiday prices on Teletext and waiting for the page to move on (1 of 74)!

4 – Comparisons. You can compare in front of the item with so many others using a browser search, speech or camera. This means that the ability to get the same product at the price point you want is possible. In addition (though not directly related) the ‘Sale reductions’ can occur whenever the seller wishes – not just Summer and Christmas! Comparison until recently has been very manual and would involve catalogues, telephones and probably a good walk around.

Everyone knows that the world has moved on but is it a better place? What would the landing look like in this modern world? Would Neil Armstrong be ‘live streaming’ from the lander? Would the mission be sponsored by Coca-Cola? And would we expect some form of ‘big brother’ gamification of the mission? (Vote now for more rations to be given to the astronauts!)

 

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I really hope that, in 50 years time, we have something so spectacular to celebrate with the world based on hope success and happiness!

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