Held in Li & Fung’s newest Hong Kong innovation hub, Explorium, Hack the Rack is one of Fung’s newest initiatives to tackle real Li & Fung business challenges with speed and innovation. Bringing together data scientists, software engineers, UX/UI designers and over 30 industry professionals from Li & Fung’s business units who acted as mentors, ThinkCol organized the global supply chain giant’s hackathon for 2 consecutive years. ThinkCol also offered 12 weeks of data science training to Fung Group business users to enhance the company’s capabilities.
Hack the Rack 2018 aimed to search for novel solutions for different Li & Fung’s lines of business. Participants selected from a series of four challenges: using data to deliver customized promotions and offers to Circle K customers, humanizing image search in Li & Fung’s huge catalogue of products and repository of product images, predicting the weekly freight volume demand and streamlining the garment measurement process for faster quality control. Participants had the unique opportunity to play with real data from the retail, sourcing and logistics businesses within Fung Group to tackle real challenges facing the industry today.
From using deep learning technology for an optimized online-catalogue interface to utilizing artificial intelligence to influence buying decisions of shoppers, the hackathon witnessed stellar innovations on the future of retail, generating 16 prototypes. In first place, Team Reboot seek to raise the company’s container utilization to more than 90% by combining data analytics, order data and third-party shipping API. With ThinkCol’s initiative, Li & Fung is currently in pilot talks with Team Reboot to create a more centralized system of carriers.
Lawrence Chan, Senior Department Manager in the Category Development of Circle K said “Seeing groups of talent on the floor solving real business challenges, using our feedback and their technical skills, I can see the power of open-sourcing and collaboration with the external communities.”