Strategy and AI

Strategy and AI Team Helps Us Emerge Stronger

Unzipped Staff
Levi Strauss & Co.
January 4, 2021

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to rage on, employees and teams throughout Levi Strauss & Co. have been going above and beyond to ensure that our business emerges from the crisis stronger. One of those teams is our Strategy and Artificial Intelligence (AI) team. Read on to see how they’ve been making an impact — and if you’d like to join this team of trailblazers, visit our data science career page.

What they do: This global team uses data science and AI to help LS&Co. make smart business decisions like how to optimize inventory and predict store traffic through forecasting models.

What the team has been doing since the pandemic started: The Strategy and AI team’s roadmap for 2020 went out the window when COVID-19 hit. Determining optimal store inventories and predicting store traffic became nearly impossible with stores closed, and the team found themselves with a small problem: With no new data coming in, their data models were about to break.

So, the team sprang into action. Taking advantage of global time zones, the Strategy  and AI team worked around the clock, with each regional team handing work over to one another to rebuild their predictive models virtually overnight. They triaged problems, focusing on ecommerce while stores were closed and then later shifting very quickly to reopening stores and then to optimizing in-store promotions. They also used the team’s unique backgrounds — like natural disaster forecasting and response, and epidemiology modeling — to predict infection rates, which in turn helped predict when we could start opening stores country by country.

Going above and beyond: The team worked tirelessly for months, meeting every day so that colleagues across all regions could pool their expertise to solve these unique challenges. Thanks to their hard work and creativity, LS&Co. now has forecasting models and processes to help make smart decisions around optimizing everything from our direct-to-consumer channels to our in-store promotions.

What they’re most proud of: Louis DiCesari, Global Commercial Head of Data, Analytics and AI — “The collaboration and selflessness of the team. Rarely have I seen people come together like this team did during such a difficult time. Everyone was dealing with multiple personal commitments — kids being home from school, being stuck in small flats with roommates — every barrier was there, and yet the team still came together to deliver work in record time.”