Sunman Group: Building an integrated intranet for a happier, more loyal workforce

About Sunman Group

Founded in 1985, Sunman is Turkey's leading toy company. In 2001 it entered the retail sector with the Toyzz Shop brand, selling toys, games, and books through its 220 stores and its website. In 2018 the group established a toy factory in Istanbul.

Industries: Retail & Consumer Goods, Manufacturing
Location: Turkey

About Global IT

Based in İstanbul, Global IT is a tech support and cloud services company with a wealth of experience managing large-scale cloud migrations.

Sunman Group built an intranet portal using Google Cloud Platform and G Suite, reducing employee turnover by giving them access to e-learning, key documents, apps, and loyalty schemes.

Google Cloud Results

  • Simplifies intranet login and authentication thanks to Google Cloud IAP and G Suite integration
  • Decreases employee turnover by 15% since intranet implementation, with greater connectivity and improved processes
  • Reduces paper waste by 90%, with forms replaced by digital tools and apps hosted on Google App Engine

100% participation in performance review via intranet

Building brand loyalty with both customers and employees is one of the most valuable strategies for staying ahead in a rapidly changing retail landscape. Sunman Group and its retail brand Toyzz Shop, Turkey's largest toy chain, began life as one shop selling model cars, and over the past thirty years has grown to employ 2,000 staff, with over 200 stores across Turkey and North Cyprus. It recently started manufacturing its own toys, as well as selling toys, games, and books online.

"Our mission is to supply toys anywhere, at any time," explains Ahmet Arasil, IT Director at Toyzz Shop. To do that, Toyzz Shop is expanding its retail network, with new sites opening every few months. Its 1,500 salespeople are key to the turnover of those stores and the growth of the business, but previously, the company had no way to share announcements and campaign details with them directly.

"Our CEO believes that our employees are central to the company's success, so his vision is for them to feel a connection to the business. Using the right technology to share information is one way to do that, and it should be fast and simple."

Ahmet Arasil, IT Director, Toyzz Shop

To support the growth of Toyzz Shop, Sunman Group decided to build an intranet portal to improve communication with sales personnel and give staff easy access to important information. Working with implementation partner Global IT, it extended its use of G Suite and built SUNPORT, a custom intranet portal hosted on Google Cloud Platform (GCP), which now serves not only Toyzz Shop but all employees across the entire group.

"Our CEO believes that our employees are central to the company's success, so his vision is for them to feel a connection to the business. Using the right technology to share information is one way to do that, and it should be fast and simple," adds Ahmet.

Creating an integrated intranet portal

Before, Toyzz Shop relied on store managers to distribute information to sales staff, which not only led to paper waste, but made it hard to keep track of communications. The company was keen to offer its staff access to digital tools, as well as improving processes for sharing information. "It had been our ambition to create an intranet for a long time," says Ahmet. "When I was hired, I made it my job to find a solution that was cost-effective and easy to manage with a small IT team."

With the support of Global IT, Toyzz Shop decided to extend its previous 280 management and back office G Suite licenses to cover all 2,000 staff, giving sales personnel basic accounts to keep costs low. Global IT then built an intranet solution powered by App Engine on GCP.

"Both G Suite and our SUNPORT intranet portal on Google Cloud Platform are compatible with any device. That's very useful, as 70 percent of our users access the tools via mobile. They really like the feel of the interface, so it's been adopted very quickly."

Ahmet Arasil, IT Director, Toyzz Shop

Now, users log on to SUNPORT via their G Suite account through Cloud Identity-Aware Proxy. Google Directory API then retrieves additional information about the user to determine their level of access to intranet content. This information is stored on Cloud Datastore, which alongside Cloud Storage helps ensure data can be retrieved quickly and easily. SUNPORT is also integrated with Toyzz Shop's business application software, to automatically upload necessary employee details.

"Both G Suite and our SUNPORT intranet portal on Google Cloud Platform are compatible with any device," says Ahmet. "That's very useful, as 70 percent of our users access the tools via mobile. They really like the feel of the interface, so it's been adopted very quickly."

Using the portal, employees can easily access HR tools such as e-payroll information, holiday requests, and health and safety documentation. The HR team has better oversight of read rates for important documents now, and even performance reviews take place via SUNPORT. "Before, we didn't have any online performance review procedures. Now, not only do we have the portal, we have 100 percent review participation," says Ahmet.

To support employee development and encourage internal promotion, staff can access e-learning resources including documents and videos, and can also send ideas and comments to the management.

"Building an intranet portal on Google Cloud Platform that can support employee development and provide enhanced oversight has been the key factor in reducing employee turnover. People feel like they belong to the company, and that makes them feel more connected."

Ahmet Arasil, IT Director, Toyzz Shop

Going digital to reduce paper waste

Thanks to implementing SUNPORT, Toyzz Shop has been able to introduce new digital HR and payroll procedures to replace paper forms, saving both time and money. One of the many processes that has been digitized is Toyzz Shop's employee loyalty card scheme. Employees previously applied using a paper form and received a plastic loyalty card issued by headquarters. Now, the scheme is completely digital.

"Overall, we've reduced paper waste by 90 percent," says Ahmet. "By digitizing many processes and reducing the need to print information for distribution, we save time and eliminate waste. Staff are much happier as things move faster."

Rewarding talent to build a loyal workforce

Since implementing SUNPORT, Toyzz Shop's employee turnover rate has fallen by 15 percent. "Building an intranet portal on Google Cloud Platform that can support employee development and provide enhanced oversight has been the key factor in reducing employee turnover," explains Ahmet. "People feel like they belong to the company, and that makes them feel more connected."

"We've also felt the cost benefit of building our intranet portal in the cloud using GCP with G Suite," says Ahmet. "We haven't had to invest in servers, or additional IT staff to maintain them."

Sunman Group plans to continue its expansion internationally, opening more stores in Eastern Europe. As the company extends its workforce, it will continue working with Global IT to grow and adapt SUNPORT.

"Our employees are our key asset," says Cem Sunman, CEO of Sunman Group. "I am delighted to finally realize my vision for an intranet solution on GCP, to make sure our employees really feel part of the Sunman family."

About Sunman Group

Founded in 1985, Sunman is Turkey's leading toy company. In 2001 it entered the retail sector with the Toyzz Shop brand, selling toys, games, and books through its 220 stores and its website. In 2018 the group established a toy factory in Istanbul.

Industries: Retail & Consumer Goods, Manufacturing
Location: Turkey

About Global IT

Based in İstanbul, Global IT is a tech support and cloud services company with a wealth of experience managing large-scale cloud migrations.

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