Maniere De Voir uses Inventory Planner to save their bottom line
To maintain a slick, profitable inventory, Maniere De Voir uses information from Inventory Planner to make purchasing recommendations which are based on its data-led forecasting.
“Inventory Planner has definitely been an enabler for growth. We rely on that gross profit margin, so to have an accurate, top-line profit margin at all times allows us to effectively manage that bottom line. When your business is making 10 million plus, it’s far too risky to hope for the best – it’s vital the figures are representative of truth.”
– Richard Udeze, Financial Director at Maniere De Voir.
Taking the lead from luxury couture labels, apparel brand Maniere De Voir has built a reputation for its premium, tailored garments and timeless designs, yet at an affordable price point that has its popularity soaring with their stylish demographic.
Richard Udeze, Financial Director for the business, spoke to us about how critical inventory is to balancing margins, and how his team uses Inventory Planner to create an efficient cash flow model that propels the brand towards long-term growth.
Tailored to last
It was 2014 when Reece Wabara, launched his own fashion brand under the name Maniere De Voir; a French phrase meaning ‘way of seeing’. Its unique product lines for men and women include blazers, dresses, jackets, shirts and co-ordinated two pieces that are built to last and combines lux tailoring with on-trend street and sportswear styles. With competitors such as international fashion giant Zara, it’s a distinctly fashion-forward look, making it a hit with their 20s and 30s target market.
“In a short space of time we’ve become a multi-million-dollar brand,” says Richard Udeze, Financial Director. “We’ve worked hard to make our products more accessible to people all over the world, and logistically tried to choose the best systems in order to serve them.”
The brand operates solely online through its Shopify-powered website, and serves the UK as well as Europe, the USA, Canada, Australia and the UAE. With multiple shop-fronts and different currencies to manage, having an integrative inventory planning tool that updates accurately in real-time has been essential to Richard in aggregating stock levels against margins.
“In retail, your biggest financial risk is stock – it’s your biggest asset and your biggest liability,” he says.
“When there’s not a strong enough management on stock position, businesses get into trouble; either by purchasing more stock than required or running short and missing out on opportunities.
“Marrying accurate forecasting with current stock levels is vital. When you’ve got cash tied into that balance and it’s not turning, essentially it becomes a dangerous cash flow issue – and you’re never going to realise it in time without the right tools to do so.”
Purchasing for profit
Inventory Planner is used widely by buying and purchasing teams, as well as by hands on CEOs and COOs, but Richard believes its indispensable worth is to financial departments.
“Working in finance, I need to understand what our stock position is on a daily basis – not just the number of units but the value of the units and how it’s affecting margins – and in all currencies,” he explains.
“Opening and closing stock positions have to be accurate and in real-time – it’s the only way for me to get a good solid figure that I can rely on as representative of the truth – and Inventory Planner provides that accuracy for me.
“We also use Inventory Planner to identify best sellers, restocks, aged stock and high risk stock”
To maintain a slick, profitable inventory, Richard and the team uses information from Inventory Planner to make purchasing recommendations which are based on its data-led forecasting. The forecasting factors in key information such as lead times, trends and seasonality to ensure up-to-date accuracy, even in unstable markets. Richard says having accurate real-time information is vital to staying ahead of competitors.
“Without the right data, you might not have brought enough stock, ordered in your bestsellers, or produced an alternative to replace a fast-moving product,” he says. “And if you can’t spot those opportunities quick enough and don’t know what lead times are looking like, you may have a gap of six weeks, or even two or three months without stock.
“In that time you’re handing opportunity to your competitors – and those shoppers who couldn’t find what they wanted and went elsewhere may not come back to you.”
Inventory Planner’s in-depth reporting functionality also allows the Maniere De Voir team to produce custom reports using over 200 metrics.
“The reports can be formatted in a couple of clicks so that they’re custom to your specific KPIs,” says Richard. “We use them to identify bestsellers, slow-movers, to review pricing, identify revenue loss, etc.
“We also have notifications set up – low stock alerts, email notification of automatic reports, and so on – so things can even be happening in the background without manual input.
“We could use spreadsheets for this and do it manually, but it would take way too long. Shopify is an incredible app but it was never built with a financial perspective in mind – whereas Inventory Planner seems to understand generally accepted accounting rules and is built on those foundations.”
A timeless model
After seeing growth of 15% and revenue of £34.7 million in the last couple of years, Richard is certain that the brand’s integrative tech stack will allow it the capacity to keep growing.
“Inventory Planner has definitely been an enabler for growth. We rely on that gross profit margin, so to have an accurate, top-line profit margin at all times allows us to effectively manage that bottom line.
“When your business is making 10 million plus, it’s far too risky to hope for the best – it’s vital the figures are representative of truth.”
“So much has changed in terms of the systems we use, but we keep Inventory Planner on board because it’s reliable, efficient and stable. The fact it’s been a mainstay for us is testament to how great the tool really is.”
To see how Inventory Planner’s data-led forecasting, purchasing recommendations and in-depth reporting insights can transform inventory for your business, book a demo today.