With over 65 years of experience, you have a gigantic brand exporting to more than 30 countries. We would like to get to know you and your company better. 

We are celebrating our 65th anniversary this year. In 1955, we had entered into the industry with the raw material of the bag. By the year of 1994, we started to produce final products. We were involved in this process with bags. Along with that, we stepped into the licensed products’ categories. Hakan Çanta is the first distributor which brought the licensed products to Turkey for the first time. At first, our title was Hakan Ticaret. It was continued as Hakan Çanta. Today, we are moving on with “Hakan” brand. We are not only producing bags; apart from the bags, we also produce many products such as shoes, umbrellas, stationery and other accessory groups. There are about 48 brands within our organization. We sell the products of these 48 brands to many countries, not only to Turkey. As of today, we are exporting to 31 countries.

You are one of the most prominent three brands in the Middle East and Europe. What can you say about the general situation of the industry for both domestic and abroad? 

In fact, we are specifically in the stationery sector. Because we are producing “school period” products. Apart from these products, we have started to expand our vision on industry basis after entering into shoes and other accessory product groups. We are serving in about 12 industries. We are operating in many areas such as stationery, discount stores, textiles, souvenir shops selling accessory product groups, and groceries. Since we are dealing with license work, we produce products in norms which certain brands have been determined. For this, we have provided the 20,000 m 2production destination in Turkey and we are trying to serve the world. Not only in Turkey, our office in Dubai is also available. We are trying to manage the Middle East through Dubai. We also have offices in China. The administration of Asia and Europe is currently being coordinated with the Chinese office. With new licenses we have received, starting in 2018 we are planning to open an office in Europe.

Which difficulties have you faced in planning and management areas while enhancing your company? How did you decide to work with CPM in this process? 

In every three years, there is a crisis in Turkey. Only the leaders can save companies from crises, not managers. And leaders must have data in their hands so that they will be able to read and interpret the data correctly. In order to make the right decision, you should correctly analyze both the company’s data and the current conditions at the same time. We are following the direction of the trend in the world and Turkey, merchandising process, and how this is happening in Europe or in the Middle East. According to the trend, we can easily say that we have to make high-numbered, error-free production and produce value-added products. At this point, the ERP comes into play. The system providing data of the entire company dissipationlessly; ERP. This is the point that introduced us to CPM. Apart from that, when we look at the work we do, we basically produce licensed products and we are one of the three or four brands that can do it in the world. Hakan is, at the moment, a brand that customers trust, that provides good and quality service, and that produce licensed products. We are continuing the branding with the brand “Gigi” and our goal is to spread to 60 countries as it was in previous years. In order to achieve a goal like this, we must take a fast, accurate and error-free path. One of the advances that have made it possible to do this is ERP and the fact that we absorbed its process management system so well 

Under the name of the Gigi, you are talking about your goals of reaching the end customer. How can you manage the data you use when reaching the end customer? What are the conveniences you have experienced in this process?

There is a situation with merchandising; you can manage a store with an accountant, you can also manage a hundred stores with an accountant too. But when you look at the other side, integrated data management enables you to direct your company and differentiate your products further on the category basis. When we create a store concept, we first look at the story. Inside architectural design, product efficiency and productivity per square meter are our first evaluation criteria. We are trying to make architectural plans that will increase the number of visitors to the store. Thus, we aim to increase the product efficiency and productivity per square meter. A good example of this is the store concept for the children’s world. We are trying to perform in Turkey a different version of Disney Stores so that we can appeal to children’s colorful world. In addition, the data we have obtained up to now has begun to spread throughout our products. That’s why we work with the ERP system. We have a wide range of data of Turkey in general or certain regions or product basis. The work we have started with CPM ERP has become accessible to all processes from production to management, from logistics to finance. When you read this integrated and comprehensive data, you can have a chance to analyze and manage stores locally in terms of pricing, positioning, segmentation. It adds plus value to us. Hence, we can perceive what the consumer wants, we can manage what we produce. We will continue to open new stores by pursuing and improving this. With ERP and integrated data management, we will continue to differentiate and expand our categories. We will use this as a significant plus to achieve this goal.

What problems have been resolved in your company with the use of CPM ERP when we bisect as after ERP and before ERP?

In Turkey, you need to make a decision between creating a system in compliance with human or creating human in compliance with the system. Due to this situation and its unique structure, some of the data reaches you verbally, by communicating. We are trying to make a habit to refine it, to organize it and to register it. So that, we are aiming to obtain the data all together and in a manageable way.  To make it real, you need ERP, an integrated business management system, so you can put together the data of all units and departments. The collection of data from all units means that you have to link every single data each other, from production to management, from financing to sales, and to interpret, merge or split when necessary. Nothing but such a system provides you a profitable operation and savings. You can not make a profit from sales only. At the same time, you have a chance to make a profit from your savings. This is a very important point and we cannot ignore it. You can not steer changes that occur in market conditions as a company. The best thing you can do at this point is to evaluate the company inside and to question how you can adapt to these changes. To see this, you need the data that the ERP system supplies to you. You can transform conditions or disadvantages into advantages by managing or changing resources, values, and units that you have. In brief, you need ERP system to manage the risks created by market conditions. When we run the ERP system, we see how we can manage these risks. We see the raw materials and their buying conditions. We also see the products to be released and thus, we make the process and product management accordingly. We produce bags as the product. But there is an important fact about us, that 2018’s planning has been completed by the previous year. It means a great risk in such volatile market and economic conditions. For this reason, we need to reach both consumption and production data. Only then we can perform a more successful operation.  

What are your future plans related to your company?

Everyone has dreams for the company, but we are a company that makes our dreams come true. I am the third manager of Hakan Çanta. I wanted to continue the family culture that penetrated to the company even if I won’t be able to change the structure I saw when I first came here. But of course, we have regarded moving forward with the momentum that the grow-up brings and transforming into a more institutional structure as necessary. I have tried to build an institutional structure independent of the skills and weaknesses of individuals by protecting the family culture and values.  In doing so, we incorporated the ERP system into the process and strengthened the transformation. Thanks to these changes and the present structure, we can transfer what we want to do to future generations. Tomorrow, someone else will have a chance to do what I imagine today. Because we have a system, a program. We made it possible to create added value while serving to different socio-economic customer groups and to do this from different perspectives from the product range to logistics. Today we sell bags and shoes, it’s true, but tomorrow we can make a decision on selling textile products. Or a completely another product can be included in our product list. Today, as many companies in the food industry have done, we can decide to be included in another industry. We have many advantages at this point. In fact, we have a dream for 2020: To carry Turkey to a distinguishable position among the producing countries in the world. We can explain this like that: Everyone can import from China. But if we can reach the prices in Turkey that can compete with China, we can sell the products manufactured in the facility we set up in Turkey to all European countries. In this way, we can reduce the number of logistic days and become faster, more qualified, and prominent exporting country. That’s what we’re dreaming of and we’re trying to catch. 

What do you want to say about CPM E-Conversion products? What were its benefits to your company?

While we were switching to E-Book as a company, we had a great convenience and it gave the company extra time. It has decreased the operation of these transactions, saved us time and money in many aspects. 

Can you take time to yourself considering your busy schedule? What do you like to do? 

I am abroad for 157 days of a year. If you love your business and embrace it with love, you will never get tired of the intensity. I have two daughters. We have a happy marriage with my wife. I can spend time with them. This is one of my biggest hobbies. I try to take them with me when I travel abroad. In fact, I can devote more time to myself this way. I do not like the phrase “I do not have time”. If you can schedule your day in the morning, if you can schedule a week later, this means you can manage your time. Because our time is our most important source, our only resource that is run out and can not be replaced. The same is true for you and your staff when you look at it as an employer. Because you pay for the time of the employees, not for themselves. So in essence, the employees sell their time to the companies. That’s precisely why we have to evaluate it in the best way and act within a program. Individuals can plan their concept of time in the same way that ERP systems providing resource planning for companies and hence, see the advantages of ERP process