Crafting an API-first approach for a transportation and logistics company
The client is an American transportation and logistics company that generates more than $8 billion annually and employs over 38,000. Best known to the public for its rental trucks, the company also engages in fleet and supply chain management and operates smart warehouses to improve efficiency, save costs, and mitigate supply chain disruptions for clients. They partner with over 800 transportation providers to deliver customized supply chain solutions.
Until recently, the organization had been managing its relationship with the 800+ carriers through an electronic data interchange and a value-added network. After receiving client RFPs that required modern API practices from vendors, the client’s digital team realized that taking an API-first approach would better position the company to compete for business with potential carriers. In order to transform into a product-oriented API practice, the company partnered with PK to teach its digital team about API standards, general productization, and best practices.
PK worked hand-in-hand with the client to define API basics, such as the API business domain blueprint, and to educate the team about key concepts surrounding product-oriented APIs. In order to implement API productization, PK helped the organization design its interfaces to be more intuitive and user-friendly for external consumers. The client’s digital team built its APIs to easily integrate with those of their carrier partners without needing excessive meetings, saving time and resources on both ends while speeding up delivery.
PK’s award-winning API team reframed APIs for the client. Rather than viewing APIs as a developer tool, the company began to see APIs as a digital business transformation concept that needs to be driven by a business need. This shift in mindset took hold across the organization, enabling the organization to start solving real-life, tangible business problems, using an API-first approach.
As a result of its transition to an API product hub, the client was able to retire its relatively expensive value-added network, saving costs and improving its bottom line. The API transition also enabled the organization to replace some of its legacy Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), significantly lowering its overall mainframe expense. Most importantly, PK helped the client reorient its company culture into a more dynamic enterprise, allowing for better agility and quicker responses to changes in the market.