Sainsbury this week invited hundreds of suppliers to sign up to a new web-based collaborative management tool.

The system, provided by online exchange GNX, enables Sainsbury to set seven performance targets for its suppliers and monitor how they match up.

It is also designed to allow the retailer to identify poor performers and areas where their standards are not acceptable in order to help them improve.

The invitation follows last week’s supplier conference when trading director Stephen Nelson said the group would be looking for closer collaboration with its suppliers.

GNX ceo Joe Laughlin said Sainsbury had already piloted the system with about 25 suppliers, including Nestlé and Kraft, and received very positive feedback. He said “Suppliers said they had not previously had information which showed them how well they were doing.

“They appreciated being able to collaborate with Sainsbury on improving their performance and said it improved productivity because less time was spent managing the account.”

The only equipment retailers will need in order to access the system is a web-enabled computer. Laughlin said GNX had loaded all Sainsbury’s supplier data and he expected hundreds of them would have signed up by the end of the week.

Auction volumes on GNX are set to almost double last year’s at $10bn.