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Travel Centers Digitalized

By Michael Rodgers, Chief Strategy & Information Officer, Pilot Flying J

Michael Rodgers, Chief Strategy & Information Officer, Pilot Flying J

In a world that is being primarily governed by the idea of improving the guest experience, every enterprise is pushing the limit to make themselves the preferred service provider in their industry. Against this backdrop, my role at Pilot Flying J is to push the limits to improve guests experience by leveraging digital assets and strategies that provide utility that “makes a better day” our guests. As the trucking industry and professional drivers make-up our core clientele, it is a top priority to ensure the safety and comfort of our guests at every stop. With this in mind, we regularly connect with our professional drivers to let them know we are here to help them solve their problems on a daily basis. We sell commodities like diesel side-by-side with services like parking, facilities for basic personal needs and digital connectivity. For us, it is about converting potential customers into loyal customers, by providing capabilities that make it easier for the driver to get the comforts they needs and get back on the road as quickly and efficiently as possible.

"It is about converting the potential customers into loyal customers, by ensuring we provide best utility and benefits for customers"

Our principal focus is guest and customer engagement, especially from a technical and digital perspective. In a digitally empowered era, everybody has smartphones and engages with us on our digital platforms whether it be through our MYPilot App, our website or our WiFi. To make it easier for the guest to engage, we deliver high speed WiFi in most our locations both inside the travel center and in our vast parking lots surrounding the centers. Access to this service is always free inside the building. All these capabilities are designed to help our guest have a better day and get them back on the road as quickly as possible. Features in the MyPilot App that help the driver include, the ability to reserve a shower, the ability to configure a complex fueling transaction within the app, the ability to receive fueling receipts in the App and the ability to receive valuable offers and deals within the travel center. With 70,000 parking places across the country, it’s critical that we provide our guests with the services they need to conduct their business in efficient fashion. Our digital strategy will remain focused on continual improvement in this respect.

Strategic Plans to Steer Forward

We are also focusing on other ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) projects that make our team members’ experience better. Our travel centers are spread across North America and are located in remote locations where it is difficult to relay messages to our team members. To mitigate this issue, we are implementing many measures to ensure better connectivity with our team by deploying modern digital platforms.

In my eyes, Pilot Flying J would not have been able to make the digital advancements we have without the partnership of my peers and counterparts across the organization who bring a plethora of special skill sets to the table. When there is a challenge at hand, we leverage our team strength to help complete the puzzle and take pride in the services and benefits that we provide to our team, guests and partners.