During the recent pandemic, Turkey\u2019s largest producer and exporter of ceramic bathroom products noticed an unusual phenomenon.\n\n\u201cWith everybody staying at home for two years, people looked around and thought it was time to change something in their bathroom,\u201d noted Alp G\u00fcld\u00fcr, group IT director at Eczac\u0131ba\u015f\u0131 Building Products. \u201cThe first year of the coronavirus, our orders went up 33%. The second year, it was 40%.\u201d\n\nHowever, the unexpected uptick in sales put a strain on the company\u2019s dated enterprise resource planning (ERP) platform. Employees were forced to use more than two systems to retrieve data. Customers complained that screens were antiquated and difficult to navigate. Customer information could not be managed with one click. And in order for employees to get an accurate sense of the profitability margin, they sometimes had to consult as many as three reports.\n\nTechnology is a vital component for digitally transforming businesses. Eczac\u0131ba\u015f\u0131 Building Products needed to transform and digitize their core business processes to better support their internal distribution network and digitize sales channels by using SAP CX solutions as one single platform.\n\n\u201cOur system was really old,\u201d recalled Gamze \u015eenkal Odabasi, Eczac\u0131ba\u015f\u0131\u2019s IT project manager. \u201cTo stay in the game, we had to upgrade our infrastructure and transform everything.\u201d\n\nHence, the creation of the Vitramax digital transformation project, named for by the VitrA branded ceramic plumbing fixtures the Istanbul-based company started producing in 1958. \n\nInternally, the venture would be referred to as \u201cmore than just another digital transformation.\u201d\n\n\u201cIt was an opportunity to change, to make something better,\u201d G\u00fcld\u00fcr explained.\n\nLeaner and faster\n\nInternationally, Eczac\u0131ba\u015f\u0131 is known for distributing sinks, toilets, bathtubs, bathroom furniture, and shower trays, among other products. As a data-driven company, it had been conceptualizing the project for several years, allocating a budget and formulating a time plan in 2018.\n\nFor two decades, the bathroom group had been reliant on SAP\u2019s on-premise ERP Central Component (ECC) system. \u201cWhen we adopted it, it was 2002,\u201d G\u00fcld\u00fcr said. \u201cWe were operating solely in Turkey. Then, we acquired many more companies, and the group became more diversified. We started doing businesses in many languages.\u201d\n\nStill, the long relationship with SAP led Eczac\u0131ba\u015f\u0131 to once again utilize the multinational ERP leader\u2019s solutions to digitize every business process, creating a difference in the market through mobile systems, user-friendly screens, and other innovations.\n\n\u201cA project like this becomes like your child,\u201d G\u00fcld\u00fcr said. \u201cMore than 200 people worked on it. In some ways, the pandemic helped us. Everybody was home every day. If we weren\u2019t, I don\u2019t know if we could have finished a project this big in 13 months.\u201d\n\nA cultural shift\n\nDeployed in January 2021, the Vitramax system now covers five countries and five manufacturing sites, operating in four languages over 24 types of modules.\n\nThe transformation was not just technological, but also cultural, connecting the finance, accounting, supply chain, logistics, controlling, and CX processes.\n\nToday, sales trends can be predicted with 15% more accuracy.\n\nWith its \u201cholistic view\u201d of each customer, Eczac\u0131ba\u015f\u0131 understands where every client shops and can effortlessly arrange home deliveries.\n\n\u201cIf anyone mentions our brands on Twitter, on Facebook, on Instagram, we get the data immediately, and we can respond to complaints within two hours,\u201d G\u00fcld\u00fcr said. \u201cThis used to take more than 24 hours. We can connect to the production departments, quality assurance departments. We used to have to do it by email and spreadsheets. Now, it\u2019s all done in the system.\u201d\n\nBecause of this, the company has seen a 75% reduction in time for merchandise returns.\n\nThe enhanced understanding of the various processes has resulted in 60% more efficiency in end-month reporting, as well as a 30% increase in warehouse output \u2013 without adding to the headcount. Users have real-time insight and a harmonized view of data for a clearer picture of operations.\n\nDue to the success of the Vitramax digital transformation project, Eczac\u0131ba\u015f\u0131 was honored as a finalist at the 2022 SAP Innovation Awards, a yearly ceremony celebrating organizations that have used SAP technologies to make a difference.\n\n\u201cThis project is bringing us new vision,\u201d Odabasi said.\n\nImmediate goals include using the technological advances to effect transformations in human resources (HR), CX, and other departments.\n\n \u201cWe believed in the future and it really helped us,\u201d G\u00fcld\u00fcr said.\n\nLearn more about Eczac\u0131ba\u015f\u0131\u2019s achievement and submission to the SAP Innovation Awards in their pitch deck.