SS19 Startup Spotlight: Nextail
Nextail developed a POC for Michael Kors focusing on store transfers. We sat with Razan Halabi (Rose), Division Manager at Michael Kors, Sebastien Verdier, Regional Supply Chain Manager and Carlos Casado, VP Growth at Nextail to hear about their work.
Carlos: Nextail is a retail tech platform that delivers merchandising decisions using AI and advanced analytics. It powers 4 key retail merchandising decisions: buying, first allocation optimization, replenishment, and store transfers.
GH: In the workshops we hold before doing our startup outreach, inventory management comes up as one of the top priorities across the board. Seb, can you tell us a little about what the pain points are?
Sebastian: When it comes to inventory management, it’s one of the top priorities we’re trying to solve for on a Group level. The main challenge is that much of the work being done is through Excel, meaning it’s a lot manual work – which can be very time consuming.
GH: Rose, what was the use case and scope you set for Nextail?
Rose: Operating 27 stores across 8 different countries within the region, means that our boutiques require unique product assortments.
Assortment planning and in-season store transfers are essential to ensure the optimization of the process with more data and less intuition. This is vital for brands with a wide assortment plan, which hold SKU-intensive fashion collections that require in-season stock balancing to ensure product optimization. This not only helps reduce loss of sales due to potential out-of-stock situations, but also moves stock to the right location to capitalize on full price sales that captures demand.
GH: what are some benefits and opportunities of the solution you're POCing with Michael Kors?
Carlos: For our POC with Michael Kors, we agreed to execute a pilot with a sales transfer solution in order rebalance stock between stores in UAE. Additionally, we integrated with KSA stores for further visibility of the business KPIs.
Aside from an incremental increase in sales and ROI, Michael Kors can reap a wide-range of benefits from the Nextail solution. Efficiency in calculation and automation of manual work empowers employees to make more informed data-driven decisions. Beyond that, Nextail allows for higher visibility and demand forecasting.
Rose: With Nextail’s dashboards, our teams have clearer visibility and real time information on stock management. Down the line, this data can inform our future buys.
Carlos: With Nextail, we empower brands to move from experience-based, leader-driven decision-making, to data-driven decision making. Here, employees augment their judgment and intuition with algorithms’ recommendations, ultimately landing at better answers.
GH: What was your experience working with Nextail, in comparison to other startups?
Sebastian: Working with Nextail, I was pleasantly surprised by their speed of execution. Furthermore, in comparison to other solutions, Nextail is more fashion focused – meaning their ability to cater to our needs was enhanced.
This is only the beginning of many impactful relationships between brands and startups – the results of the work are yet to be measured, but early indicators of success are already unraveling.