In the 60 years since its foundation as a single gas station in Virginia, Pilot Flying J has grown to be the largest operator of travel centers in North America. With over 750 locations serving more than 1.6 million professional drivers and traveling motorists daily, Pilot Flying J provides its guests with overnight parking, showers, warm meals, Wi-Fi, and a vast array of merchandise.
Developing an omnichannel strategy
To provide a modern, fully personalized, and frictionless guest experience, Pilot Flying J needed to adopt an omnichannel strategy, backed by fully integrated systems, that allows guests to engage with the brand through multiple channels — whether through real-time parking availability and shower reservations on the mobile app or redeeming offers on the web portal.
To achieve its vision for delivering a seamless and enjoyable journey for its guests, Pilot Flying J set out to:
- Deliver an omnichannel strategy with mobile apps, web portals, and more.
- Integrate backend systems with digital customer-facing technologies, as well as Salesforce Sales, Service, and Marketing Clouds.
- Implement new, innovative technologies — such as IoT — to enhance the customer experience.
Integrating data to deliver a personalized digital experience
Behind the scenes, Pilot Flying J’s IT systems were siloed or connected via one-to-one integrations, making critical data inaccessible. To unlock data from its hundreds of siloed backend systems, Pilot Flying J turned to MuleSoft.
Using MuleSoft’s Anypoint Platform™, Pilot Flying J replaced legacy middleware and custom code with flexible, reusable APIs. This allowed the team to connect a range of backend systems with Salesforce systems, including Sales, Service, and Marketing Clouds. By taking an API-led connectivity approach to unlocking product, inventory, loyalty rewards, and customer profile data, Pilot Flying J was able to launch an industry-leading mobile app – myPilot – which saves drivers time and dramatically improves quality of life on the road.
Key myPilot app features include:
- Mobile fueling: APIs have simplified the complex process of diesel fueling, reducing the number of steps drivers need to take at the pump by more than 90%. Using the Customer Profile API, which provides a single view of customer data, the myPilot app can verify drivers’ billing information, company credentials, and more.
- IoT-enabled parking: With more than 70,000 parking spots across its travel centers, Pilot Flying J integrated its reservation system with micro-radar sensors, allowing drivers to view real-time parking availability.
- Parking reservations: Professional drivers can view total truck parking spaces at a location and have the ability to purchase Prime™ Parking spots in the app.
- Shower reservations: When guests arrive, their phones activate a geofence, enabling the driver to reserve a shower without having to leave the truck, and when their shower is available, the door code is sent to myPilot. Since last year, the app has seen an 80% increase in shower reservations.
- myOffers: Pilot Flying J uses APIs to deliver personalized offers in-app that are immediately redeemable in-store for popular food and beverage items.
These and other capabilities are the technologically-driven experiences that customers love, and it’s all enabled by connecting countless on-premises and cloud-based systems using MuleSoft.
Driving faster results for customers and employees with an application network
With Anypoint Platform, Pilot Flying J was able to save time for both its guests and IT team.
The IT team saves vital development time by reusing APIs for integrations, allowing the company to bring new digital services to market faster.
“Anypoint Platform is critical for us because it allows us to reuse APIs we’ve already built, reduces risk of writing new code, and allows us to respond to the market much faster than we have in the past,” said Josh Birdwell, Senior Director of Guest Systems and Applications Development. “What our team likes most about Anypoint Platform is that there is not a big learning curve; it is quick to pick up and easy to use.”
From the guest’s perspective, professional drivers save valuable time with the ability to access up-to-date information on their phones, authorize mobile diesel fueling, and make reservations in real time.
What’s more, Pilot Flying J understands it can increase its reach by integrating the myPilot capabilities into third-party apps, which it accomplished by exposing its APIs externally without having to write new code; so far, Pilot Flying J has released its APIs and SDKs to 10 transportation partners, also bringing in data from public apps like Waze. With more than 250% YoY mobile app growth and millions of loyalty offers redeemed, Pilot Flying J is driving significant incremental revenue.
“Using MuleSoft allows us to finish the projects faster, which saves us money, and, more importantly, to deliver speed to market, which means we make money faster,” said Michael Rodgers, Chief Strategy and Information Officer.
Download the customer story to learn more about Pilot Flying J’s industry-leading omnichannel strategy.