Coats Digital Embarks on a New Era of Innovation by Adopting Microsoft’s Azure Open AI Service to Herald-In Cutting-Edge AI Technologies to Benefit Customers 

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Coats Digital Embarks on a New Era of Innovation by Adopting Microsoft’s Azure Open AI Service to Herald-In Cutting-Edge AI Technologies to Benefit Customers

Coats Digital, the leading digital transformation partner for the fashion supply chain is pleased to announce that it is propelling its technology solutions into the AI era with the launch of a new AI Assistant to improve customer service and open up innovative, new opportunities across the fashion supply chain.  

Taking just six weeks to develop the new AI service using Microsoft’s Azure AI solutions, Coats Digital’s developers have quickly introduced advanced capabilities for robust natural language queries across Coats Digital’s knowledge repositories. Customers worldwide can now access information instantly on any of Coats Digital’s solutions using natural language questions relating to product documentation, training materials, and more. Introducing an AI-powered knowledge base has greatly enhanced the customer experience, delivering a more seamless, user-friendly and productive experience to customers. 

John Powell, Senior Director of Software Engineering , Coats Digital, said: “The collaboration with Microsoft has helped Coats Digital to embark on a journey to ultimately shape AI solutions that specifically address fashion sector needs rather than conforming to a one-size-fits-all approach. Our priority is to deliver value to our customers so I am excited about the potential of AI. We have a powerful ecosystem of solutions that we can now look to elevate with the use of AI tooling, the Azure infrastructure, and with the support provided by the Microsoft team. 

“The most compelling thing is that the AI revolution is in full flight at the moment. By coupling the capabilities of Microsoft with Coats Digital’s knowledge and skills in the apparel industry, we’ve been able to bring AI’s benefits directly to shop floor workers across the globe. This is just the beginning and we look forward to pioneering innovation for the fashion supply chain in the years to come.”  

Coats Digital maintains a vast knowledge base of product documentation and training materials, known as Docs. The company’s engineers saw a great opportunity to harness this information to enhance customer self-service and productivity, especially for new customers, with the use of AI. Drawing on its strong working relationship with Microsoft spanning numerous projects, Coats Digital explored innovative ways to tackle this development challenge. Microsoft proposed an eight-week innovation sprint focused on emerging Microsoft Azure capabilities, like Azure AI Services and Azure OpenAI Service.  

Jonathan McCormack, Director of Software Engineering, Coats Digital, said:  “In a nutshell, we wanted to use AI to improve customer onboarding and offer an optimum navigation experience with regards our extensive database of product information and training materials.  

“With our new AI Assistant, a customer can now instantly discuss their needs conversationally with a customer-facing virtual assistant within Docs, which responds with the most applicable training materials or documentation from the company’s extensive catalogues. By understanding user intent, Docs delivers highly relevant results— which is a vast improvement over traditional keyword searches.” 

The AI-powered assistant has immediately benefited Coats Digital’s customers by making the company’s knowledge base more accessible and user-friendly. By simplifying exploration of its knowledge base, Coats Digital has increased engagement with its tools and features. Customers can, consequently, now fully use resources that they had underused before. The assistant has also unlocked capabilities that were easily missed in extensive documentation, guiding users to maximise Coats Digital’s reference materials. 

Steve Ede, Director of Customer Support, Coats Digital, notes: “Docs is our first port of call when dealing with customer inquiries. We can now input customer questions directly in the AI assistant to quickly access the wealth of knowledge available, while encouraging  customers to do the same themselves. Azure AI will continue serving as the launchpad for rapid innovation at Coats Digital so we can build on robust, enterprise-grade AI services and explore bold new scenarios tailored for the apparel industry in the years to come.” 

Spurred by the overwhelmingly positive customer response to the AI assistant, Coats Digital plans to expand AI capabilities across the business. Next on the road map is employing similar strategies to enhance the internal experience from production systems and sales channels. 

“Microsoft’s commitment to working with partners and customers is helping to drive real digital transformation for people, organisations and industries across the globe”, said Eric Kalin, Chief Data Officer, Manufacturing at Microsoft. “Coats Digital is designing a future where productivity gains and customer delight are business as usual and where companies across the fashion industry can take advantage of aligned technology collaborations not as a bonus, but as an indispensable growth strategy.”