a white o9 logo x a red Levi's® logo are imposed over a photo of various Levi's® denim tied together as a rope and held up in an industrial warehouse.

LS&Co.’s New Supply Chain Marketplace

Levi Strauss & Co.
May 23, 2024

As part of our continued efforts to become a direct-to-consumer (DTC)-first company, teams across Levi Strauss & Co. are constantly looking at opportunities to operate with increased speed and streamline processes so we can get our products in the hands of consumers faster. Last year, our Global Supply Chain Planning team spotted an opportunity to do exactly this with our fabric and supply planning process.

The Challenge

Historically, LS&Co.’s supply chain team has had to reach out to different suppliers to identify which one has the right fabric for a particular order. Only after hearing back from each supplier individually would the teams decide which supplier was the right one to direct the fabric order to.

The entire process was a long, slow series of linear — and often isolated — decisions that would take more than 60 days to complete. It also never gave the team a truly holistic view of everything currently available in our supply chain, making it incredibly hard to spot cost-saving opportunities.

The Solution

The Global Supply Chain Planning team teamed up with vendor o9 Solutions to create a new enterprise planning system, while also working with LS&Co.’s IT team to develop a new data infrastructure that supports real-time data visibility.

Essentially an open marketplace, the new system shows a live look at our supply chain so that we can quickly and easily see who has the materials on hand that we need to manufacture our tops and bottoms. It lets LS&Co. teams see all the available suppliers and what materials they have, and allows all parties to collaborate virtually in real time on up-to-date raw material needs.

The Benefits

Thanks to the new system, LS&Co. teams now have the insights they need to assign orders quickly, significantly reducing lead times. It also allows us to match supply to demand in real time — even down to the component level.

That’s not all. The new system also shows fabric purchased from past seasons, which allows the team to go back to those suppliers and use the fabric, removing the need for new orders and reducing costs on our end.

This level of transparency in our supply chain lets us optimize the entire network, helping us improve processes in ways that deliver significant benefits, particularly around cost and time savings as well as the ability to protect margins.

Progress and Future Plans

So far, our teams have created three system modules in collaboration with o9 Solutions — Tops/Bottoms Agility Modeling, Raw Materials Planning and Material Requirement Planning (MRP)-driven Agility. These launched earlier this year, with five more coming later in 2024 and early 2025. The team plans to expand the platform throughout 2024, adding more suppliers and rolling out the system’s capabilities more widely throughout the supply chain.

“The early results from this work have been quite incredible to see,” said Vishal Mankotia, vice president of Global Supply Planning at LS&Co. “Not only are we speeding up the processes, but this Tops/Bottoms Agility Planning model has helped us achieve significant reductions in liabilities of both fabric and sundries.”

He added, “This project is a testament to our unwavering dedication to enhancing supply chain process capabilities and introducing real-time data visibility for our manufacturing base. By strengthening our supply chain and transforming into a DTC-first company, we bring ourselves closer to the market and our consumers.”