Please introduce your company and give a brief about your role within the organization.
My name is Maria, I’m the Co-Founder and Strategy Director of GFAIVE. Our company built an AI SaaS Platform for fashion assortment planning and demand forecasting. There are a few key benefits that our solution provides to brands and retailers, but the most valuable ones are:
- precise demand forecasts for 12 months by fusing historical data and external fashion trends,
- assortment mix simulations for upcoming season collections to optimize KPI achievement,
- sales forecasts for new models based on prototype photos (at the design stage).
So, essentially, we aim to simplify the life of fashion brands and retailers and help them grow revenue while minimizing costs and waste.
What is the story behind starting this company?
Well, we are a family-owned business that I run together with my father, Andrei. Everything started when we discovered that no matter the size of the retail company, to forecast demand and plan the collection everyone relies on simple Excel calculations.
We were quite surprised, especially considering that Excel and human brains can’t always account for all the year-to-year changes. Thus, resulting in overstocks and understocks. The only reason everyone is still using Excel in our opinion is that they are just used to it.
So we started to gradually assemble a team who had experience in data science and fashion. We spoke with industry experts and identified that this was a clear pain point for brands. That’s pretty much how the idea was born and confirmed.
What are your company’s business model–in house team or third party vendors/ outsourcing?
We have a core team in-house and sometimes hire freelancers to do some projects in product development. In total, we have six full-time team members with highly diverse backgrounds. From data science and IT to retail assortment planning, merchandising, and sales and marketing.
How does your company differentiate itself from the competition?
The biggest challenge fashion retailers face is to predict consumer demand much in advance of sales, even before the production starts, which is up to 12 months. Existing solutions for demand forecasts provide only numbers based on analytics of historical sales. Some platforms give insights into future trends. Thus, concluding how these global trends will influence a specific brand’s demand in the future is left to the retailer, and again they have to do guesswork to predict these numbers.
So, GFAIVE is the unique and only platform that takes historical sales analytics, combines it with relevant external trends, and runs these data through a neural network to find correlations and provide accurate 12- month demand forecasts and optimized assortment mix for new seasons collection for fashion retail.
What industries do you generally cater to? Are your customers repetitive? If yes, what ratio of clients has been repetitive to you?
We primarily cater to lifestyle retailers and brands selling apparel and fashion, jewelry and accessories, sportswear, home amenities.
Please share some of the services that you offer for which clients approach you the most for?
The core of our Platform is a 12-month ahead demand forecast on multiple levels like SKU, store, season. It allows fashion retailers to avoid overstocks and reduce production costs, increase revenue and become more sustainable by avoiding unsold inventory utilization.
However, we’ve also gone even further and took the numbers from the demand forecasts and created an optimal assortment mix for new seasons. This is another key feature you can use.
The mix can then be even more optimized based on the retailer’s KPI: margin, or revenue.
Additionally, the tool is also used as a simulator. The retailer can change numbers and see how his decision about the collection mix will influence the future business performance of the company.
By playing with various scenarios the retailer can choose the one that meets their target in the most optimal way.
Another common challenge clients approach us with is when they struggle to predict the future sales of new items at the design stage. We’ve added this capability to our platform as well. Specifically, just by uploading an image of a new item in the GFAIVE platform, the company gets a clear vision of its performance potential for 12 months.
By comparing various designs and styles that way, retailers can choose which ones to include in the new collection. Overall, this tool provides valuable support to buyers during fashion shows.
We’ve also developed a BI tool to support the retailer with monitoring the current performance of the collection, so they can take timely actions to improve business indicators.
So, as you can see, there are quite a bit of key services we offer, and we plan to only improve and expand them with time.
What is your customer satisfaction rate according to you? What steps do you take to cater to your customer’s needs and requirements?
Our customers see substantial improvement in their business indicators, like revenue and margin increase, so the satisfaction rate is high.
We are still in the process of improving and extending our platform, so for our customers, it is a good chance to participate in the innovative product development by advising us on the needs and requirements of their niche so we can include that in our roadmap.
We also have a support team to help with any difficulties and answer any questions.
What kind of support system do you offer to your clients for catering to their queries and issues?
We provide full customer support in private channels in Slack and also by prompt responses via the platform 'help desk' form. Additionally, we support our customers via on-demand calls with our specialists.
What kind of payment structure do you follow to bill your clients? Is it Pay per Feature, Fixed Cost, Pay per Milestone (could be in phases, months, versions etc.)
GFAIVE is a SaaS platform, with an affordable monthly subscription. Any retailer can try it for free for 1 month and evaluate the business effect before going into a long-term subscription.
Do you take in projects which meet your basic budget requirement? If yes, what is the minimum requirement? If no, on what minimum budget you have worked for?
Monthly subscription starts from 490 GBP. More about the pricing plans can be found on our Pricing Plan page.
What is the price range (min and max) of the projects that you catered to in 2020?
Our pricing strategy is based on the number of users. Small companies may need a limited number of users, while big companies with multiple locations may require users for each location. The monthly subscription starts from 490 GBP. The maximum Package is 1900 GBP per month.
Where do you see your company in the next 10 years?
The use of innovative technologies like Machine Learning, Computer Vision and Big Data are considered to be costly and time-consuming. Our goal is to become a leading Platform in assortment planning and demand forecasting for retail on the global market even for small and medium-size businesses by delivering complex technologies with ease and affordability.
According to McKinsey “The State of Fashion 2021” report, brands will increasingly leverage technology and analytics to gauge consumer sentiment prior to production in the near future. 60% of fashion executives are planning to implement improved analytics for consumer insights. This is also a clear sign for us that we need to continue and improve our solution.