At PDI, innovation is the driving force behind our acquisitions and our strategic vision.

Last month PDI completed its twentieth acquisition, and if that sounds like a lot, it is. It’s great to work for a company that’s growing so quickly, but I’ll bet you’re wondering what’s in it for you.

For starters, we’re not making acquisitions just for the sake of growing the company. Every acquisition is specifically designed to help us build and deliver more holistic solutions that give you a competitive advantage in how you operate your business.

It’s no secret the technology that drives the convenience and fuel industry was built from the ground up—often in bits and spurts. Compared to other industry sectors, there has been a distinct lack of integration and consolidation. And, frankly, that tends to unnecessarily complicate things for everyone involved—users, vendors, and partners alike.

This lack of integration makes it harder to:

  • Connect with and influence the behavior of your customers
  • Simplify and streamline your operations
  • Extract core business insights to use in a meaningful way

Innovation with a purpose

With so many businesses embracing cloud-based platforms, we see a great opportunity for more unified solutions that will drive the next wave of innovation across the entire industry ecosystem. This strategy requires a significant commitment—which is why PDI plans to invest over $100 million in R&D between 2020 and 2025. In particular, we plan to double the size of our technical team and bring in more business experts to elevate the focus well above the level of point products and technologies.

Part of that investment includes the creation of the PDI Innovation Program, which focuses on using the latest technologies to reduce manual processes and improve decision making so you can increase revenue while decreasing costs. (If you’d like to participate in this program, let us know.)

But back to what’s in it for you…first of all, this isn’t just innovation for innovation’s sake. It’s innovation with a purpose—a proactive goal to propel the entire industry ecosystem forward:

  1. You don’t need more disconnected point products that end up feeling like the Island of Misfit Toys. Holistic, integrated solutions are what you want and what you deserve. That’s our goal too.
  2. Any solutions must integrate seamlessly into the broader industry ecosystem. This is absolutely critical if you want to innovate faster.

Easier integration, automation, and scalability

Historically speaking, many businesses have been left to figure out how to integrate products on their own. That needs to change. No more messing around with multiple screens, manual data entry, and task duplication. Sounds good, doesn’t it? And that’s just the starting point.

Not only do we plan to integrate our own offerings—we also want to make it easier for anyone to use and build onto our products. Our vision is to provide a platform for innovation—whether you’re a user, partner, or third-party vendor.

Imagine being able to leverage best-in-class solutions but easily add your own elements of innovation—whether that’s through open APIs, a software development kit, or tapping into a third-party ecosystem that delivers a truly frictionless experience.

This concept for innovation is simple: Remove as many barriers and as much complexity as we can. For example:

  • If you’re a retailer, how about being able to use advanced business insights to integrate logistics and simplify ordering across your end-to-end supply chain?
  • If you’re a fuel wholesaler, how about accessing real-time pricing data and automatically integrating it into your ERP systems to boost profitability and transport fuel more cost-effectively?
  • If you’re currently stuck performing manual tasks, how about automation that improves your productivity and accelerates digital transformation?

One real-world example of leveraging this flexible and open platform is our partner Vroom. As soon as the pandemic disrupted businesses in March 2020, Vroom accelerated the development of a broader ecosystem for loyalty solutions. The rapid technology adaptation enabled C-stores to continue conducting business using intelligent third-party services. Moreover, Vroom’s mobile ordering and pickup/delivery offerings have further opened the door for broader integration with other providers of e-commerce, mobile delivery, and cashier-less checkout services.

Your priority is our priority

Our goal is to provide a more holistic view of your business operations—whether you’re a small chain or a large retailer. We believe that eliminating complexities and pain points will help you:

  • Elevate your customer experience and tap into new revenue streams
  • Operate more efficiently to boost profitability
  • Leverage breakthrough technologies to innovate in a secure, scalable manner

To learn how we’re making this happen, we invite you to explore the latest PDI innovations and what they mean for you.

And be sure to mark your calendars for June 8, when PDI CEO Jimmy Frangis will host a Live Cast session “Spark: Powering Possibilities” to answer your questions and share our strategic 5-year company vision.