Safeway is installing a web based technical information system for new product development that it claims will slash time to market and vastly improve dataflow with its supplier base. In the first instance, the tool from e-business provider Ramesys will give all parties involved in own label npd instant access to a site housing specs, said head of product technology George Uden. This can be updated by those with secure dial access in real time, slashing hours wasted sending information to and fro, avoiding duplication and improving accuracy. This should be up and running by October. In the next phase, starting in January, the system can be used as a workflow-based new product development tool, allowing everyone involved in the process to plug into a site that manages the entire development cycle. The system will also provide a central repository for suppliers to access Safeway's technical policies, codes of practice and other vital due diligence information to improve compliance, said Ramesys business development director Kieran Forsey. It will also serve as a vital traceability device in the event of a food scare, allowing third parties to identify which Safeway products contain a particular ingredient, for example. {{NEWS }}