If a retailer wants to buy Ivory soap, Jif peanut butter, and Charmin toilet tissue from Procter & Gamble, it has to place different orders, pay on different terms, and take delivery from separate trucks. Now, in an attempt to streamline, P&G is overhauling its logistics. As of Oct. 1, it will simplify its pricing structure and standardize ordering requirements across nearly all of its U.S. businesses. Customers will be able to receive deliveries of all sorts of brands on one truck, with one invoice and one set of terms--and earn a 2% discount if they pay within 19 days. Look for more such moves by U.S. packaged-goods companies. They're trying to slash billions in costs by moving toward paperless links and continuous replenishment of store shelves.
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