Sharpening the axe: El Turco implements automation solution to decrease project management overhead

Project overview

Industry conferences have traditionally been the place where networking takes place. In fact, in the 2018 edition of Meet Central Europe in Budapest, we met Cenk, the owner of El Turco, a language service provider based in Istanbul focusing on Turkish and Arabic languages.

Many of their biggest customers send numerous small recurring translation jobs on a regular basis, that is why they were looking for automation alternatives. Cenk wanted to make the process more streamlined and increase the production capacity of his project management team.

"As Abraham Lincoln said, give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe. We, the people in the translation industry, are so busy chopping down the trees that we often forget to sharpen our axes.”
Cenk Yalavac
Founder of El Turco


Like other translation companies that focus on software and web projects, El Turco has seen an increasing trend in continuous delivery. Since the beginning of the last decade, projects have become smaller and deadlines more pressing.

To remain competitive, Cenk knew it was essential to automate basic tasks such as confirming projects, saving project metadata (word count, specialization, rates, cat-tools, deadlines, etc) records, fetching files and finding translators available for that specific job.


The automation need has been there for a long time, but El Turco, like most small and medium-sized translation companies that work for larger LSPs, had little development capacity. As Cenk put it “there are no standards for the APIs in the market. It was a difficult problem to solve and no one was brave enough to take on responsibility.”


The core of the project included tracking projects using Google Sheets, which El Turco had already tried in order to avoid having to log every detail into the business management system, which is quite time-consuming. Cenk’s team had examined different methods to automate this, from parsing emails to bots and RPA ― but none of them lived up to the expectations.

Fortunately, BeLazy’s integration to Google Sheets via Make (Formerly Integromat) worked perfectly: They could now easily accept projects coming from different vendor portals, log the data and send automatic email notifications to translators who may accept or decline projects based on their availability.

This automation supports a more efficient management of small projects coming from vendor portals such as Symfonie (Moravia) but also from Plunet which is used by other customers of theirs. According to Cenk “BeLazy helped to decrease the project manager’s overhead dramatically. They don’t have to deal with these tiny projects on a daily basis.”

But there is more than that! El Turco is finalizing the development of their proprietary BMS and are planning to take advantage of BeLazy’s BMS API to easily integrate it to the aforementioned vendor portals.

“Since the start of our partnership, they consistently tried to find out how we should improve our processes and came up with a solution pretty quickly.” Cenk thinks we are the “sharpeners” in the translation industry. We like to think that too!


Don’t let those manual, operative tasks hold you back. Stay ahead of the competition by introducing automation into your organization.