E-commerce specialist Eqos has launched a software package enabling suppliers to track nationwide demand for their products at the touch of a button. Heinz, Procter & Gamble, Bernard Matthews and a raft of other firms have signed up to the Retail Extranet Optimizer (REO), which consolidates data from retailers' extranets and summarises it. Eqos md Mike Quinn said: "Typically, manufacturers waste hours trawling through retailers' extranets to find out how their products are performing." REO provides them with customised data in minutes, enabling suppliers to plan ahead on the basis of accurate real time information. "The cost of signing up to REO is proportional to the number of lines and promotions you have, so the cost is not prohibitive for small manufacturers," added Quinn. Suppliers using Eqos collaborative software even sailed through the recent petrol crisis. Nestlé was alerted to a spike in demand on Tuesday and scaled up production immediately to deal with the surge in demand. "Eqos means you don't have to second guess demand," said Quinn. "After the fuel crisis, I don't think there's a single grocery retailer who isn't talking to us. For one company, REO paid for itself on the first day." - Tesco also says its TIE extranet system, run by GE Global eXchange Services, helped suppliers through the fuel crisis. {{NEWS }}