Elaine Watson Londis and the Co-operative Group are "significantly more advanced" than the multiples when it comes to developing the collaborative relationships with suppliers ECR is striving for, claims software firm JDA. JDA Europe md Andrew Blatherwick said the Collaborative Planning, Forecasting and Replenishment work done by Londis and the Co-op Group was a "step beyond" what Tesco and Sainsbury were doing with TIE and SID. Although they had interactive promotional planning capabilities, the major multiples' extranets were not truly collaborative tools, claimed Blatherwick. "They let suppliers see a lot of data, but it's still a case of passing information back and forth rather than working together." However supply chain partners involved in the collaboratively managed inventory initiatives at Londis and the Co-op using JDA software jointly owned sales forecasts, order forecasts and purchase order approval. Both retailers said they had seen significant reductions in inventory and improvements in service levels to store with the system. Co-operative Group cpfr project manager Lee Braddock said: "Our stockholding went down £3m after eight months of trialling the system with 11 suppliers." Another seven are to come on board with the aim of reaching 30 suppliers representing over 30% of volume by the year end. Londis purchasing director Martyn Harvey said service levels to store from 19 participating suppliers now averaged almost 99%. "Suppliers say they can see the bus coming when it comes to our orders now," said Harvey. "They are also willing to engage in other new strategic initiatives with us because this has fostered such good relationships." l Big Food Group is in talks with JDA about the system. {{NEWS }}