More than 300 suppliers are developing new own label products for Sainsbury through an online collaborative product development tool from e-marketplace GlobalNetXchange.
The tool, which lets everyone involved in creating new products plug into a website that manages the entire product development cycle, can slash the time to market by a third, claimed GNX product manager Anne Driscoll.
Sainsbury confirmed that more than 400 suppliers would be on board by the end of the year and that all its own label suppliers are expected to be using it by the end of next year.
Although some cost is involved for suppliers, Sainsbury is partly subsidising this, Driscoll said. However, both sides stand to gain from speeding up the time to market.
Sainsbury is also working with GNX on other collaborative projects as well as being a major customer of its auction platform, she added. Online auction volumes through GNX reached record levels in the last quarter, topping $1.2bn Â a 146% rise over the same period last year, she added.
Separately, GNX has forged an alliance with fellow exchange Transora to let GNX members like Sainsbury access data from all the top fmcg companies.
The tie-up synchronises data from Transora's web catalogue with retailers' own systems via GNX according to guidelines drawn up by the Global Commerce Initiative, and has been heralded as a major breakthrough in the quest for data synchronisation.
Unilever chairman Antony Burgmans said that the tie-up was a "milestone in our industry's efforts to realise the combined vision of the GCI and EAN.UCC models for data synchronisation".
GNX boss Joe Laughlin said it finally proved the b2b exchanges were not wasting everyone's money but working to develop complementary products and services.