Sainsbury says its membership of GlobalNetXchange will start paying off early next year when the majority of its b2b projects kick off in earnest. The supermarket chain claims to have already made savings via the online trading exchange greater than the $15m it invested six months ago. And chief executive Sir Peter Davis said membership was a huge coup for Sainsbury: "Whatever Tesco have said publicly, they were pretty furious that we got into that." Trading director Stuart Mitchell said the exchange would be an important enabler for Sainsbury's strategy of focusing its business around quality, value and choice. Speaking at Sainsbury's suppliers' conference, Mitchell dismissed the hype surrounding online auctions ­ one of the features of the new trading exchanges. "These will be used for a small number of commodities that are traditionally bought through auction. But the vast majority of our business will not be done through auctions but through traditional means," said Mitchell He said the big wins would come through the development of core product catalogues and in dramatically speeding up new product development work. The Sainsbury director claimed that by allowing everyone from designer to buyer to liaise online, the time it took to get new products to market could be halved. Sainsbury would use the exchange to boost electronic communications with its trading partners, with better collaborative planning and data sharing two priorities. Mitchell listed the benefits of GlobalNetXchange to suppliers as being improved communications, lower costs and inventory levels, reduced edi costs and better access to new markets both locally and internationally. Mitchell highlighted another way in which the exchange would help non-competing retailers to co-operate. He said fellow member Carrefour had recently hosted 90 Sainsbury staff on a fact finding mission to see how the French retailer merchandised and sold fresh foods. {{NEWS }}