How Automation Is Transforming These Local Tech Companies

by Janey Zitomer
March 24, 2020

High efficiency can sometimes come at a cost: decreased accuracy. At iHerb, automation allows the e-commerce health and wellness company to address this pain point as it relates to product fulfillment. iHerb’s predictive models use data to best streamline operations so that the business can get tens of thousands of customer orders out the door per day.

“We heavily invest in microservices and event-driven architecture to build scalable and reliable systems,” Director of Software Development and Platform Al Zak said. 

At Genly, it used to take employees days to build and execute a data analysis and performance optimization process for a standard marketing campaign. Today, the company’s intelligent bots leverage data that comes from a variety of digital ad networks to handle repetitive tasks so those details no longer become a time suck. 

Automation has transformed the foundation of business functions at both companies. While their teams make use of tools like machine learning and artificial intelligence bots, they are deliberate about the type of technology they invest in and implement.

 

iHerb
iHerb

iHerb is actively developing robotic technology that will enable product fulfillment to be a four-step process: receipt, replenish, pick and ship. According to Director of Engineering (Robotic System Architecture) Aaron Lininger, software automation helps simplify possible bottlenecks like order release, product positioning, route planning and inventory allocation. 

Zak said that iHerb team members leverage AI and ML and have employed fully automated CI/CD processes. They keep their eyes peeled for additional technical solutions that will make streamlining processes that much easier.  

 

How is your company leveraging automation to streamline or simplify specific tasks?

iHerb’s business model is centered around providing quality, natural products to customers around the world with the highest standards for customer experience. This means that our fulfillment operations must operate with the highest levels of efficiency and accuracy, two metrics that are often in competition with each other. 

Traditional means of fulfillment automation have proved viable in order to remain competitive in this space, but newer technology has emerged that offers the opportunity to create a real advantage. Through the application of robotics in the fulfillment space, we are able to simplify fulfillment management of tens of thousands of customer orders per day from a catalog of tens of thousands of products. We ship to hundreds of countries around the world, relying on our software capabilities to automate complex and dynamic behaviors throughout the day. 

We are always looking for the right tools for the problems at hand. ’’  

 

What tools or technologies have you implemented to drive automation?

We are always looking for the right tools for the problems at hand. We heavily invest in microservices and event-driven architecture to build scalable and reliable systems. We use cloud and managed services, Kubernetes and serverless infrastructure to allow automatic provisioning and horizontal scaling. 

We build prediction models from collected data points to more efficiently automate and plan our operations. Finally, no development shop is complete without fully automated CI/CD processes.

 

Genly
Genly

Genly’s AI bots optimize its clients’ media spend based on marketing campaign performance and SDR feedback. The bots then shift budget to best-performing assets and creative content based on wins and demo sets. CTO Andrew Belous said the centralized interface is made up of data that comes from a variety of digital ad networks, as well as Facebook deep knowledge. 

 

How is your company leveraging automation to streamline or simplify specific tasks?

At Genly, we are freeing both our team and our users from the mundane technical tasks associated with digital marketing campaigns. It used to take days to build and execute the standard marketing campaign data analysis and performance optimization process. We identified this as an issue we could solve and created intelligent technology to handle repetitive tasks and minute details. This releases our team and users to focus on creative, out-of-the-box brainstorming. 

Automated campaign creation allows our team of marketers to work on developing the message they are trying to get across.’’

 

What tools or technologies have you implemented to drive automation?

The Genly platform utilizes Facebook deep knowledge as well as other digital ad networks to create a centralized interface that does the heavy lifting for marketers. Using Genly, a marketer can spend 15 minutes building a campaign from start to finish because they have access to media optimization, audience building and content placement best practices. 

Automated campaign creation allows our team of marketers to work on developing the message they are trying to get across and accessing the audience they are seeking to reach.

 

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