Checkout What Pilot Flying J Is Doing Now

Published in CSP Daily News

Chain developing new technology to check out customers, give managers more store time

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Truckstop and travel center retailer Pilot Flying J Inc. is working on several new technology-related projects, according to the company's executive vice president of operations, Ken Parent.

To make life more convenient for our customers, Pilot Flying J is developing several different options for customers to checkout, he said. One of these options is a mobile checkout system, a quick and easy way to check out customers through a handheld device.

"Since it is card based, customers don't even have to get in the checkout line. We can check them out wherever they may be in the travel center," said Parent.

The company is also testing an assisted checkout program to eliminate lines. Initial customer feedback has been very positive, he said, and Pilot Flying J has plans to roll out these devices to more than 100 locations over the next year.

"We are focused on giving our customers choices to make their experience with us more convenient. If they want to get in line and checkout at the counter, they certainly can. If they want to get in and out quickly, they can be checked out on a mobile device, and if they want an assisted self-serve checkout, we will give them that option, too," Parent said.

Behind the scenes, the company is also in the process of leveraging technology to eliminate managerial backoffice and administrative duties to allow managers to spend more time with customers, he said.

Pilot Flying J has more than 20,000 employees. At the beginning of 2012, it installed a Myboard communication device in every travel center. These digital screens allow management to quickly reach out to anyone in the company to communicate and train through the use of video.

"We put our operations and field team members through multiple classes and weeks of training," he said. "We want them to understand what professional drivers go through on a daily basis so that when drivers come into our stores our team members give them the fast, friendly service they deserve."

Knoxville, Tenn.-based Pilot Flying J is the largest operator of travel centers and travel plazas in North America. Its network provides customers with access to more than 60,000 parking spaces for trucks, more than 4,400 showers and more than 4,000 diesel lanes. Pilot Logistics Services is one of the largest independent energy logistics companies in North America, selling and distributing more than 1.3 billion gallons of refined petroleum products and serving more than 15,000 customers. Together, Pilot Flying J and Pilot Logistics Services generate sales of approximately nine billion gallons of petroleum annually.