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Legion’s Innovative Use of AI in WFM SaaS

by Farshad Kheiri

October 28, 2021

Farshad is the Head of the AI Innovation Lab at Legion. He has more than 12 years of experience in the Data Science field, and he worked in several startups with successful exits. Previously, Farshad built, led, and managed data science teams for companies like BCG. He also worked on AI solutions for blockchain-based technology. Farshad holds a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering with a Minor in Mathematics, and he has two Masters degrees focused on Electrical Engineering and Digital Signal Processing.

Legion is fundamentally different from legacy workforce management software vendors. There is lots of WFM software that claims to use AI. But in many cases, the legacy software actually requires manual data processing, or it’s an on-premise system that stores some data in the cloud. Legion WFM is the only platform with true AI and mature data science live and in production for more than four years. Through AI-powered demand forecasting, labor optimization, automated scheduling, and time and attendance modules, customers can optimize labor efficiency. In addition, using AI to match business needs with employee preferences improves their experience.

Solving Business Problems

Legion’s AI-powered platform is an essential workforce management solution for businesses in the retail, distribution, manufacturing, hospitality, and food services industries, specifically because it provides increased flexibility and safety for workers.

And Legion uses AI technology to solve several workforce management problems:

  • Quantify the predictability of demand drivers for labor using machine learning
  • Automatically compute highly granular and accurate demand forecasts using machine learning
  • Optimize labor forecasts subject to constraints, such as compliance, using AI optimization
  • Optimize schedules to meet employer policies and employee preferences using machine learning and AI optimization
  • Compute predictive features using natural language processing and deep learning
  • Learn behavioral traits of users and optimize their workflows using machine learning and deep learning

Driving Customer Results

The Legion platform’s AI-driven demand forecasting module integrates data from thousands of demand impact points. As a result of using Legion, organizations experienced 95% forecasting accuracy over three years. Based on the forecasting data, they automatically generated an optimal labor plan that ensured the right type and amount of labor was scheduled at the correct times.

Before using Legion WFM, a retail organization had no method of ensuring scheduling optimization. Once the organization invested in Legion, the HR Director said the organization augmented its workforce planning strategy. “Because of Legion’s AI and machine learning functionality, the product forecasts an ideal headcount per hour per day based on the operating hours and the traffic that’s anticipated using all historical data. Additionally, the tool continues to learn over time as we add more data. This is not something we’ve ever had before, but it’s been hugely impactful and has changed our approach to work,” said the HR Director.

The Director of Store Operations from another retail organization reported that Legion’s true machine-learning forecasting was twice as good as its internal forecast and 80% better than other forecasting tools they tested. “This was a big deal because we knew that if we could get labor into the right stores on the right days, we could avoid wasting labor and essentially make our labor more useful. And we computed that every hour we get employees into the right store each week is worth about $7 million, which means getting people to the right place at the right time is a huge deal,” the Director of Store Operations said.

Built for the Cloud

Cloud technologies form the backbone of Legion WFM, enabling us to aggregate the data we need for machine learning and optimization. We can also scale cost-effectively to unprecedented levels. And, we’re able to deliver innovations to our customers rapidly and at scale because Legion WFM operates on a single shared cloud-based code base.

For example, we achieve high accuracy for our demand forecasting because we use granular and specific machine-learning models tailored to each dataset. Legion currently has over 500,000 datasets, and we train over 50 models per dataset to pick the best one for each. In addition, our cloud-based infrastructure enables us to scale out when computational power is needed and scale back down. Without cloud-based technology, it wouldn’t be possible to complete this many computations cost-effectively or in a reasonable amount of time.

Proven by the Numbers

Through our AI innovation, a Top-5 US retailer increased demand forecast accuracy by 60% and achieved a 500bp improvement in labor optimization. Other Legion customers were able to improve forecast accuracy from 80% to 95% accuracy.

Additionally, AI is used to match employee preferences of when and where to work with business needs. Legion achieved a 96% match rate.

A recent Forrester Consulting Total Economic Impact Study found that organizations would achieve a 13x ROI with Legion largely due to AI innovation. AI is central to the Legion WFM platform because it helps optimize labor investment, improves manager productivity, reduces compliance risk, and leads to happier employees because schedules match their preferences – automatically.

Meeting Our Mission – Turning Hourly Jobs Into Good Jobs

AI innovation lies at the heart of our Workforce Management platform. It’s the critical component that enables Legion to optimize labor efficiency and the employee experience simultaneously at scale. Legacy software relied on old technology. Legion was the first company to apply modern technology with the power of data, AI, and cloud computing to workforce management.

Through the power of AI, we can transform hourly jobs into good jobs for hourly employees and their employers. Hourly employees get schedule empowerment that provides gig-like flexibility and helps them structure their work around their lives. AI also helps businesses optimize their labor efficiency and ensure they have the right employees at the right place at the right time to meet demand across all channels.

To learn more about how Legion WFM can help you achieve similar results, please request a demo. We’d love to show you how we can help.