COOs from Macy's to Etsy are finding efficiencies with AI.

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As Lemonade explores new ways to use artificial intelligence, the online home insurance provider is still determining which technology investments will create the efficiencies that drive growth. .

Lemonade posts double-digit revenue growth, but remains unprofitable, so “unit economics are key,” Adina Eckstein, Lemonade's chief operating officer, said recently. good fortune COO Virtual Event. By investing in AI and building a “superhuman” workforce, Eckstein says she can maintain more stable spending on operating expenses, while also increasing sales.

The AI ​​push is going to be “largely divided between people who fear it or don't embrace it, and those who do,” says Eckstein, who serves as COO and Chief People Officer. Officer, she's thinking about it. What tasks can be outsourced to AI systems, how such investments in technology will change the tasks that people are asked to do in the future, and staff about their changing roles and responsibilities. What investment is needed to teach?

The COOs Eckstein joined for the roundtable discussion largely agreed that they are embracing generative AI to unlock efficiency gains. But they are also wary of how much the technology will cost and the impact it will have on their workforce.

“It creates fear,” says Sebastian Bruschi, COO of Alignment Health, a Medicare Advantage provider. “How do you keep people engaged? How do you keep culture? And how do you keep culture and strengthen your brand when you're moving deep, personal connections and you're moving it to automation? Will you keep it?”

Like Eckstein, some COOs on the call wear two hats at their company, including Adrian Mitchell, COO and chief financial officer at department-store chain Macy's. Mitchell says that as COO, he sees investments in AI as helping to better predict demand and drive operations — sometimes providing insights that are wildly contradictory — as well as if done properly. Unlocking increased sales and margins if deployed.

“At the center of it all are really a lot of strategic and capital allocation decisions with the CEO and the CFO,” Mitchell says. I have to lean in and she's really sitting at the table in terms of setting the strategic agenda for the enterprise.”

Christie Roth also holds two roles at Thomson Reuters, selling tools to tax and legal professionals and running Reuters News. As chief operations and technology officer, Ruth is driving the company's generative-AI pilots and product offerings, including enhancements to services sold to clients and internal projects to support employees. “There's a lot more to do as we continue to balance the cost equation,” Roth says.

At Etsy, chief operating and marketing officer Raina Moskowitz says she's looking for ways to use AI to make the company more efficient internally, while the e-commerce site has 90 million buyers and more than 7 million sales. They are also helping the service providers. With all of these stakeholders in mind, Moskowitz says Etsy needs to not only consider the benefits that AI can offer, but also develop how it sets goals. and how it measures success.

“What are you encouraging and rewarding in your abilities?” asks Moskowitz. “It's a really important moment to think about how you know how the company is working internally to make sure you're meeting the moment and recognizing when it's happening. Need to change and change.”

Earlier this year, Etsy unveiled an AI feature called Gift Mode, which lets users enter a few details about the person they're shopping for and Etsy's machine learning technology. Can match gift suggestions. “Our merchandising teams are training these models to best recognize Etsy,” says Moskowitz. “This allows us to serve even more of our 120 million listings.”

Minneapolis-based US Bank is similarly investing in AI to make employees' jobs easier. In the customer service call center, the bank is testing AI tools to automate transcription and call summaries.

“We all know a happy employee who is more productive and will deliver better customer satisfaction and better results for our clients,” says Sohail Badran, COO, US Bank.

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