Costco Improves CRX Supplier Data Technology Platform

New improvements to Costco's supplier information platform, the Costco Collaborative Retail Exchange (CRX), include category tracking, real-time updates and category tools that provide a three-year historical view of seasonal trends and the competitive landscape. The retailer also announced the launch of Costco CRX Mexico last week.

The Costco CRX, operated with Information Resources, Inc. (IRI), provides a single global solution for category, POS and supply chain tracking at Costco. Launched in 2004, the platform provides the wholesale club's vendors with a consistent set of Costco internal data points.

Enhanced announced this month include the "Category Tools" service, which provides critical performance benchmarking capabilities. The new function allows manufacturers to measure performance against the rest of the category as well as all releasable Costco subcategories and segments. With new category data, subscribing manufacturers can identify category trends, track their category performance and gain valuable insight into the competitive landscape.

The tools also provide a historical view of seasonal trends and the competitive landscape over the past three years, providing valuable insight for promotional activities, product demonstrations and inventory quantities.

Last August, IRI and Costco migrated the CRX program to the state-of-the-art Liquid Data technology platform, enabling faster insights. In December 2012, the retailer began releasing daily sales and inventory data, delivering the previous day's sales metrics for all items in all stores to the manufacturer community. This timely information allows suppliers to react immediately to the changing retail environment, including identifying and adjusting inventory and streamlining new product launches.

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