Shopping for your favorite Levi's products online just got a little easier and more efficient, thanks to machine learning-powered innovation. Levi Strauss & Co is focused on leveraging data, AI and machine learning to help drive great consumer experiences and better business outcomes. The company has developed a patent-pending Business Optimization Of Shipping and Transport engine, or BOOST for short.
"What BOOST is optimized to do is fulfill ecommerce orders more effectively," said Louis DiCesari, Global Head of Data, Analytics, and AI. "When somebody goes online to make a purchase, we have distribution centers where we keep inventory specifically for those orders. One of the things we can do with BOOST is broaden that search for available product to include stores and allow the engine to choose the best fulfillment option for both the consumer and our bottom line."
A consumer may find that a specific item of clothing is out of stock online, which typically means is that the item is not available in distribution centers. However, there may be an available jacket at a store nearby, which BOOST can locate and make accessible.
"We worked closely on the development of the engine with our direct-to-consumer teams, who make it their mission to turn consumers into lifelong fans, wherever and however they like to shop. This is just one example of how we're applying the benefits of digital innovation to accelerate that shared vision," Louis said.
In addition to opening up more inventory to consumers, BOOST is designed to employ AI capabilities to improve operational efficiency, thereby decreasing costs for fans while still delivering a premium product. One of the ways it does this is by solving the problem of split shipments. "If a consumer orders three things from Levi's and gets three packages from Levi's, it's a poor experience for the customer and a bigger strain on resources," Louis said. BOOST's AI calculations allow the company to reduce shipping impact without shifting the burden to the customer.
BOOST is designed to consider all elements of the process, from shipping to packing to labor, leading to optimized decision-making that saves time and money across the board. And it does all this completely independently. "The beauty of it is that we've been able to automate all of this so it's really a decision-making engine, not just an information engine, allowing our teams to focus their efforts on other value-adding initiatives," Louis said.
As Levi Strauss & Co has continued to see the benefits of this system for their employees, shoppers and resources, they have been working to expand BOOST's capacity to widen its positive impact.
"At the moment, it accounts for about 40% of BOOST-eligible ecommerce orders," said Inna Saboshchuk, Global Operations Data Science Manager. "By Black Friday this year, we should be processing 100% of eligible U.S. orders, and we are currently scaling this across our businesses in Europe."
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Source and top image: Levi Strauss & Co