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Case Study: Sustainable Textiles Manufacturer Eliminates Stockouts with MRP Software

Michael Klepacz, founder of hemp- and linen-based textiles manufacturer Natural Materials, is seeking sustainability everywhere.

Natural Materials

Natural Materials Unlimited is a manufacturer of sustainable textile products from Warsaw, Poland. Founded in 2015 by Polish-American entrepreneur Michael Klepacz, the company specializes in designing and manufacturing hemp- and linen-based textile products The company also offers design and white-label production services to other manufacturers.

Born and raised in Toledo, Ohio, Klepacz found his way back to the land of his forefathers due to a difficult but inspiring turn of events. After an injury disrupted his career in the US Air Force, he found a new passion in sustainable agriculture and design. Enrolling in UCLA’s Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities showed Klepacz that he had a knack for business, leading him to pursue a master’s degree at Kozminski University in Poland. During his studies there, the young inventor-entrepreneur founded Natural Materials Unlimited.

First production management systems proved insufficient

Initially, the company was using spreadsheets to manage their production-related data, then moved to an ERP platform. The decision arose from the need to track various aspects of the business: inventory items, their value, production activities, and quality inspection results.

“I also wanted to be able to give customers accurate production lead time estimates, accurately schedule production, and quickly generate reports,” says Klepacz.

While at first, the chosen solution seemed to do the trick, it proved insufficient for the needs of the company.

“There were too many things going on to make it simple enough to use,” Klepacz states. “At the end of the day, it wasn't able to do piecework.”

Third solution was the charm

Klepacz went looking for a solution that could handle piece rate pay on top of everything else and came across MRPeasy.

“I trialed it and it worked,” he says. “It was affordable, and I felt like I could wrap my head around it.”

Feeling comfortable with the intuitiveness of the new system, Klepacz decided to implement the software on his own. The process went smoothly apart from the occasional human errors on the part of his employees.

“Once in a while, we had issues with people not signing out when they should have or under- or over-reporting material use,” he states.

New software saves a lot of time

According to Klepacz, MRPeasy is a great manufacturing resource planning tool for small manufacturers such as himself. One of the features he especially likes is the price list functionality which enables salespeople to just apply a price list to a client instead of looking through a list every time a sale is being made. In addition, the company benefits from the product configuration functionality enabled via matrix BOMs. This allows Natural Materials to configure the sizes and colors of products and to quickly generate manufacturing orders and purchase orders accordingly.

“If I put in a bunch of orders and then go to my critical on-hand,” he explains, “I can press the cart button and it instantly creates purchase orders for what I need according to the minimum order quantities and all the other stuff. It saves a lot of time for me.”

Stockout risks brought to a minimum

Klepacz says that the largest benefit to the company so far has been the absolute minimization of stockout risks.

“Only once have we ever come dangerously close to running out of inventory, and that was for packaging,” he states. “Lead times on some pieces of packaging run up to 11 weeks so it’s really important to plan it accurately.”

Some of the company’s clients are in charge of their own packaging but rely on Natural Materials to provide them with reports on how much material will be needed to package the ordered items.

“It’s nice to be able to just hand them a PDF that says exactly how much they should order,” Klepacz says.

In conclusion, the sustainable textile manufacturer has not only overcome the challenges of stockouts but has also set a new standard in operational efficiency and ecological responsibility. The implementation of MRPeasy has enabled Natural Materials Unlimited to manage its resources more effectively, ensuring a consistent supply of materials and timely production, vital for maintaining customer satisfaction and sustainable business growth.

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