Business Challenge story

To achieve its USD 2.7 billion revenue goal in Turkey, CarrefourSA aimed to open at least one new store every day for an entire year. How could it put its rapid growth strategy into action?


CarrefourSA, working with IBM Services, created integrated business processes supported by SAP ERP and SAP HANA solutions—cutting the cost, complexity and time required to open and manage new stores.


96% faster

store opening enables increased reach to win new customers

33% expansion

drives revenues and contributes to the USD2.7 billion goal

10-month target

achieved for an end-to-end SAP ERP implementation

Business challenge story

Creating a recipe for growth

Competition is increasing within Turkey’s grocery retail sector. Tackling the situation head on, CarrefourSA set itself the aggressive target of USD 2.7 billion in revenues by the end of 2016. To achieve the goal, the company needed to win business from new customers, and faced the challenge of expanding its store landscape rapidly to connect with the prospects ahead of its competitors.

Önder Kaplancık, Chief Information Officer at CarrefourSA, explains: “To help capture incremental sales and meet our revenue target, we aim to operate 750 stores across Turkey by the end of 2015. To complete the expansion from the starting point of 240 stores, we needed the ability to open at least one new store per day for an entire year.

“Making a new retail store operational involves more than just the bricks and mortar. The process includes onboarding new employees, installing and connecting the point-of-sale systems, adding new delivery points to our stock distribution network, and more.”

Önder Kaplancık continues: “Previously, we relied on multiple different business systems to manage these business processes. Because there was limited integration between the systems, performing the tasks required to open a store was complex and time-consuming. In addition, our business systems were managed by CarrefourSA subsidiaries in France and Spain, and vital changes were often held up in lengthy queues while other matters took precedence. The result was that opening a single new store could take up to one month—far from our one store per day target.”

As a first step to solving the challenge, CarrefourSA mapped out the processes and systems that lay behind opening new stores. The company determined that fully integrating the business processes from end to end—and creating a dedicated team to manage the underlying business systems—could dramatically shorten its time-to-market for new stores.

IBM Services offered the strongest local consulting resources and most comprehensive experience of retail deployments of SAP software.

Gürol Sungun, SAP Project Manager, CarrefourSA

Transformation story

Integrating the business

After a thorough review of solutions from a number of different vendors, CarrefourSA selected solutions from the SAP for Retail portfolio—including SAP ERP applications—to support its business operations across Turkey.

Gürol Sungun, SAP Project Manager at CarrefourSA, says: “To set our business transformation into motion, we were looking for a solution that could support the target way of working with the minimum of manual effort. Of all the vendors we considered, SAP was the clear leader. In addition to offering best-practice workflows for retail practically out of the box, the SAP for Retail solutions deliver the flexibility and scalability we need to grow our business for years to come.

“One of the many aspects of the SAP offering that impressed us was the ability to run analytics reports using lightning-speed in-memory technology. With point-of-sale data flowing directly from SAP ERP applications into data warehouses on the SAP HANA® platform, we can offer our decision-makers deeper insights faster than ever before.”

With construction projects for new stores underway across Turkey, CarrefourSA needed to ensure that it could open each one on time. The clock was ticking, and the company looked for the support of an expert partner to accelerate its business transformation program.

“We compared leading solution integrators in Turkey, and after a rigorous evaluation it was IBM Services that stood out from the crowd,” says Gürol Sungun. “IBM Services offered the strongest local consulting resources and most comprehensive experience of similar retail deployments of SAP software, as well as access to a global network of SAP software implementation and development expertise. In particular, we felt that the close working relationship between SAP and IBM offered us the assurance that any technical issues could be resolved rapidly—an essential requirement for completing our project on schedule.”

CarrefourSA, working together with IBM Services, deployed SAP ERP with applications for finance, controlling, cost center accounting, profit center accounting, asset accounting, logistics material management, sales and distribution, in-store merchandise and inventory management, warehouse management, flexible real estate management and point-of-sale data management.

To enable rapid access to the SAP solutions for more than 1,500 business users in Turkey, the company implemented SAP Portal and SAP Solution Manager software, with SAP Workforce Performance Builder software to help new users get up to speed with the new solutions quickly. Finally, to deliver in-memory analytics capabilities, CarrefourSA implemented SAP Business Warehouse powered by SAP HANA and SAP BusinessObjects™ business intelligence solutions.

Önder Kaplancık comments, “Throughout our deployment process, the guidance we received from the IBM Services team was invaluable. The IBM team worked with us to migrate data from multiple separate systems to a single instance of SAP ERP. Today, CarrefourSA uses SAP solutions to manage every aspect of the business—human resources and accounting at our headquarters, inventory management at our warehouses and the points of sale at our stores.”

Gürol Sungun adds: “Our ten-month target for the SAP solution deployment was a formidable challenge, but the IBM Services team took it all in their stride. Throughout successive stages of workshopping, configuration and user-experience testing, IBM consultants helped us to keep an extensive, complex and far-reaching transformation program on track. Right on schedule, IBM enabled us to migrate from business systems running in France and Spain to an end-to-end SAP solution based and managed here in Turkey.”

Results story

Expanding fast to drive sales

With fully integrated SAP solutions driving its business processes, CarrefourSA has slashed the time required to open the doors at its newly built retail stores.

Önder Kaplancık explains, “In the past it could take us a whole month to get a new store ready to open—now, we can open new stores inside of a single working day, 96 percent faster than before. Thanks to the SAP solutions delivered by IBM, everything from adding new employees to our human resources system to configuring point of sale devices at the checkout is fast, straightforward and highly automated. In fact, since our solution went live we have opened 80 new stores—a 33 percent expansion that is creating valuable opportunities to grow our customer base and drive us toward our billion-dollar revenue goal.”

In addition to helping CarrefourSA convert new prospects, the SAP solutions are enabling the company to increase the value of its relationships with existing customers.

Gürol Sungun comments, “In the past, our reporting processes were essentially a black box. For example, a database of customer purchasing data was stored at one of our subsidiary data centers in France, but we were unable to dig down into the data to uncover affinities between products, which limited our ability to create effective promotions. Most analyses required us to collate data from multiple different source systems manually, which left limited time to explore the actual results.

“With SAP Business Warehouse powered by SAP HANA, that’s all changed. Our decision-makers can now perform near-real time queries on sales data for more than 150,000 products at hundreds of stores, which will help them to identify the best promotional combinations to drive our bottom line. Better still, the tight integration between our SAP analytics and point of sale solutions will enable us to deploy markdowns and discounts at the touch of a button, and monitor their effectiveness precisely. Without a doubt, insights from SAP will enable us to take a more proactive approach to nurturing customer loyalty, which will help us to reduce the threat from competitors.”

Önder Kaplancık concludes: “Our SAP solution deployment from IBM Services has been an unqualified success. With SAP solutions from IBM driving our business processes, we are expanding our store footprint, winning new customers and accelerating toward the USD 2.7 billion goal.”

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Headquartered in Boulogne-Billancourt, France, CarrefourSA is a leading multinational retail group, employing more than 364,900 people worldwide. In 1993, the group opened its first CarrefourSA hypermarket in Turkey, and today operates around 500 stores across the country. In 2014, the company generated annual revenues equivalent to USD1.426 billion.

Solution Components Label

  • GBS BCS - EA SAP : Core ERP Central Component - ECC
  • IBM-SAP Alliance
  • Retail: Digital Operations
  • SAP ERP Financials
  • SAP NetWeaver Business Warehouse
  • SAP NetWeaver Portal
  • SAP Solution Manager