Artificial Intelligence and Robots Improving Business Operations
The popular clothing company Levi’s started leveraging bot and automation technology for its business operations since it decided to focus many of the company’s labor resources on higher-value initiatives. By introducing robotic process automation capabilities into its daily operations, the brand wanted to save 20,000 hours of manual labor for many of its employees across the entire brand. The brand started using these types of smart robots with the goal of taking away a part of the highly labor-intensive and burdensome activities in retail and business operations. This decision was made so that the brand could allow both its back and front line staff members to instead concentrate on more important daily tasks, such as judgment-based work and analytics.
AI improvement areas
For this type of change, the brand created a Robotic Process Automation Center of Excellence Team, whose team members need to figure out specific areas that could potentially be automated in the legacy operations of the brand. The RPA COE team is working toward improving and streamlining employee efficiency by implementing brand new artificial intelligence tools and technologies. Aside from those efforts, the brand actually wants to start using up to 50 AI robots this year, and all of them are aimed at simplifying tasks and reducing the labor-intensive tasks that are required of the company’s employees. One of those AI robots that are being used is called a Purchase Order Closure robot which was created to automate, scale and speed up all of the purchase orders that the finance team at Levi’s closes out on a daily basis. Generally, this process was a bit tedious since it required manually sifting through a large number of open purchase orders. However, this robot will be handling all of the correspondence by itself, and quickly close out all addressed purchase orders quicker. This way, every party involved including the internal teams, the brand, as well as external vendors are able to save time. Additionally, the robot-based utilization helps the brand get more in-depth knowledge and understanding of its finances and budgeting, which is also going to allow the finance team members to reconcile purchase orders on a regular quarterly basis, instead of doing so annually.
Another robot that the brand started using is geared toward merchandise coordinators. The robot’s tasks include replacing the work tasks of five different employees by automatically entering over 4000 product codes in the brand’s storage systems. With this AI-powered strategy, the company manages to cut over 700 hours of manual labor. Furthermore, the brand’s teams that are based in Australia and New Zealand also get the benefits of utilizing artificial intelligence-powered robots as one of them is tasked with invoicing wholesale partners, which it can do in less than 30 seconds. Previously, the employees had to take up to five minutes to do the same task, which meant that they had to block out several days in their calendars every month to simply send out statements via email.
By leveraging this type of technology they are able to copy the workflows of various employees and figure out different ways that tasks can be simplified. Levi’s ensures that all of its employees across a variety of departments have the necessary tools and technologies that are necessary to both thrive and work in today’s digital-first work environment.