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Case Study: How a Candle Maker Grew from the Kitchen Table to 7 Figures

With 70% of their business taking place during the holiday season, Fontana Candle Company relies on MRPeasy to ensure the timely production and delivery of their products.

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Fontana Candle Company is a home and personal care products manufacturer from Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Apart from their specialty, certifiably non-toxic candles, they also make products ranging from bath salts and soaps to room sprays and lip balms.

The business started in 2018 when founders Katie and Eric Roering had a date night that involved making candles on their kitchen counter. They gifted their first candles to friends and relatives, who absolutely loved them. Then they decided to make more and went to a makers' market where they sold $800 worth on their first day, prompting them to start an actual company. After expanding their operation to the web, sales skyrocketed and now, they have grown into a company of 12 people that generates a 7-figure revenue annually.

Managing growth with spreadsheets proved impossible

Continuously scaling up poses challenges of its own. Although for the first year, the couple used spreadsheets to manage the business, these quickly began to falter.

“I was trying to do forecasting, inventory management, and tying raw inventory to production,” Eric says. “And I realized we were going to need something better.”

He remembered that at his previous job at Cargill, a major food manufacturer, the company was using SAP to manage its processes.

“From that, I saw what software could do for a business,” he says.

Eric began research on manufacturing software. He found many systems that seemed functionally suitable for their business, apart from their $10,000+ monthly subscription fee along with a $100,000+ implementation. But then he discovered something much more affordable.

“I came by MRPeasy and compared it to other solutions,” he says. “I realized I could do everything I needed with it. MRPeasy fit perfectly.”

Initial software setup took 3 days

Thanks to his previous experience with SAP, Eric understood he had to meet the implementation challenge head-on.

“I knew it was going to be a lot of work – I had 800-900 bills of materials to enter into the system,” he says. “But in the end, it was no more complicated than it had to be. We got the system up and running in only three days.”

Doing seasonal sales with confidence

With 70% of Fontana Candle’s business taking place in the last quarter, a major challenge that MRPeasy helps them overcome is handling seasonal spikes. The software gives them a clear overview of how much product they have in stock, what they can make with existing materials, and how much they can produce by a certain deadline when considering material and production lead times.

“I could never do it without MRPeasy,” Eric says. “It allows me to sell ahead with confidence.  Instead of putting only the 100 candles that I have in stock on sale, I can put up 10,000 candles that haven’t been made yet and still know that I will be able to deliver them on time.”

In addition to inventory level tracking and forecasting, Fontana Candle uses MRPeasy extensively to fulfill a variety of other functions. Eric says that the system is essential for creating effective production calendars and making sure orders are delivered on time, but also for ensuring traceability.

“Nothing comes in without a purchase order and nothing is made without a manufacturing order,” Eric says. “Everything that goes into a product is managed in MRPeasy.”

As a former accountant, Eric also has good things to say about the system’s accounting module.

“Accounting is one of my favorite things about the business and being able to use MRPeasy in accounting is huge,” he says. “It can easily tell me our COGS and where those costs come from.”

Software essentially runs the business

While MRPeasy caters mostly to manufacturers with a headcount of 10-200, Eric believes that even microbusinesses as small as 1-2 people would benefit from it. That is why he recommended MRPeasy to his father and brother who are now using it to run their ice-fishing vehicle manufacturing business.

“You can’t afford not to use it,” he says. “It’s unmanageable to deal with everything manually. Allowing this software to essentially run your business saves you tons of time in the end.”

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