How Birchbox Transformed Its Operations With Mathematical Optimization

Webinar Recording

Watch this short webinar to learn about how Birchbox transformed its subscription business with mathematical optimization.

Webinar Summary

Discover how e-commerce company Birchbox uses mathematical optimization.
Birchbox – the trailblazing subscription box service that launched in 2010 – had created a mixed-integer programming formulation to determine the products that would be sent to its subscribers in individual boxes on a monthly basis. The goal is to produce a set of different box configurations that are then assigned to customers – so that Birchbox can meet the diverse needs of its varied customer base.

As the business grew, the mixed-integer program was taking days to solve, and it was impossible to experiment with different business requirements to determine the best set of configurations. The RIP (Reciprocating Integer Programming) technique was created to reduce solution times to typically under 20 minutes using Gurobi, which has dramatically changed the way that Birchbox can run its subscription business.

In this webinar, you will learn:

  • How Birchbox, with Princeton Consultants, utilized the RIP technique to reduce solution times to under 20 minutes using Gurobi.
  • How Birchbox was able to transform and improve the way the company runs its subscription business using mathematical optimization.

Presented Materials

You can download the slides presented in this webinar here.


Dr. Irv Lustig from Princeton Consultants uses Gurobi to optimize Birchbox subscriptions.

Irv Lustig, PhD, is the Optimization Principal at Princeton Consultants and a global subject matter expert in state-of-the-art optimization and a Certified Analytics Practitioner. Irv is one of the world’s top experts in optimization. Irv started his career in academia, where he earned a PhD in Operations Research at Stanford University. Irv’s thesis advisor was George Dantzig, the inventor of the Simplex algorithm who is thus often called the father of linear programming. After years of working to improve the foundational solver tools, Irv joined Princeton to work directly with top industry clients to leverage these tools for maximum speed, reliability, and scalability.


Rob Randall from Princeton Consultants uses Gurobi to optimize Birchbox subscriptions

Rob Randall, PhD, is the Senior Optimization Specialist with Princeton Consultants. Rob develops custom production optimization models and decision support systems and helps executives and operations personnel improve asset utilization and increase profit. In addition to building models, Rob is heavily involved in the gathering of requirements and design of surrounding decision support systems. Rob joined Princeton Consultants in 2006. He holds a PhD from Clemson University in Industrial Engineering with a focus on metaheuristic design and development.


David Bendes of Birchbox hosts webinar with Gurobi Optimization

David is the VP of Global Business Technology at Birchbox, the easiest way to discover and shop for beauty and grooming products. David leads Subscription Technology & Operations, Data & Business Intelligence, and Platform Product Management, focusing on creating data-driven experiences and the technologies that power them. David is an MBA candidate in the executive program at Columbia Business School and holds a BA from the University of Rochester, where he studied Economics, Computer Science, and Music and was an award-winning Kauffman Entrepreneurial Fellow. David also founded and plays drums in the Birchbox Band.


Princeton Consultants Gurobi Optimization

Princeton Consultants helps organizations integrate optimization and new technologies into core business processes. Princeton Consultants have a track record since 1981 of developing and deploying breakthrough solutions. Advisory services include model review and validation for advanced analytics.


Birchbox webinar with Gurobi

Birchbox is a simple and delightful way to update your beauty routine. The trailblazing subscription box service launched in 2010 and delivers five to six samples of beauty products a month, tailored to each subscriber’s needs and preferences, all handpicked by the Birchbox team, matched to your unique needs, and paired with helpful tips on how to use them.