Rod Addy
Procter & Gamble has pumped £28m into a new UK service centre at Thurrock, Essex, to improve its service to retailers.
P&G's UK MD Christopher de Lapuente claimed the depot would slash two million miles a year off the distance travelled by its delivery trucks.
Supplies of ambient goods will be delivered from factories to the depot, rather than direct to retailers, and consolidated so that retailers receive a full range in one delivery.
The depot will also be used to supply slower selling goods to major multiples.
"It means we can deliver smaller quantities of product more often," said de Lapuente.
Larger orders of faster selling products will be delivered direct from factories to P&G's biggest customers via retailers' RDCs. De Lapuente said such orders represented 60% of the group's business.
Consolidating smaller consignments would also increase the likelihood of retailers ordering a wider range of products, he said, because they were paying for fewer deliveries.
"No other supplier has a multi-category system such as this. It is also better placed to handle internet shopping services. As time goes by we will see many more centres of this kind set up for that purpose."
The Essex depot stocks most of P&G's brands and can deliver to retailers from the south coast to Manchester. It covers an area the size of 10 football pitches, stores 25,000 pallets, handles 10,000 monthly orders and complements P&G's northern service centre at Skelmersdale.

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