Success Story: High-Tech Batch Processing Company Encapsulates Success with MRP Software
After trying out a number of solutions, innovative microencapsulated fragrance maker MicroCapture found a perfect software companion in MRPeasy. “We managed to set up bills of materials and products in a single week,” says Customer Support Executive, Kate Taylor.
Microencapsulation expertise since 1992
MicroCapture is a market leader in biodegradable microencapsulation applications with more than 75 years of combined experience, a dedicated R&D team, and an in-house laboratory for product development and testing. Having recently celebrated 31 years in business, the UK-based company employs 9 FTEs and boasts a yearly turnover edging toward 1 million pounds.
Microencapsulation is a process in which particles of an active chemical – a fragrance, antiallergen, vitamin, etc., are encapsulated in extremely small capsules that are then applied to products, enriching them with various qualities. MicroCapture works with many customer-based fragrances and substances, but also boasts a wide variety of in-house fragrances and its own brand product for hay fever relief, called Breezed.
MicroCapture distinguishes itself by a personal approach to product development and innovation with its clients. Furthermore, whereas many standard microencapsulation processes use microplastics and potentially toxic compounds such as formaldehyde, MicroCapture stands out with a product line entirely focused on sustainability, safety, and eco-friendliness. All of the company’s formulations are 100% biodegradable, skin safe, and certified to IFRA standards.
A varied history with production management systems
Throughout its time in business, MicroCapture has tried many different approaches to managing their manufacturing operation. After abandoning an initial paper-based system, the company moved to Excel and implemented an accounting platform on the side. This arrangement worked out reasonably well for a number of years before the rising complexity of the manufacturing process finally pushed it to its limits. An increasing share of international clients brought additional challenges in formatting layouts and customs records which proved exceedingly difficult to manage via spreadsheets.
Hoping to alleviate this and the extra legwork arising from data duplication between the production management and accounting systems, MicroCapture replaced Excel with the accounting software’s built-in manufacturing suite. This configuration also saw a couple of years of use but ultimately proved inadequate. MicroCapture’s CS Executive Kate Taylor comments: “Although the manufacturing solution worked alright, it didn’t talk well to the accounts package and was very complicated for what we needed. On the other hand, it didn’t do some of the stuff that we did need.” Thus, the search for a better solution continued.
SME-oriented manufacturing ERP proved the right choice
Manufacturing ERP systems designed specifically for small and medium businesses have thoroughly matured in the past years. After shifting to Xero as the new accounting platform, MicroCapture set out to find a new SME-oriented software solution to handle the company’s production and inventory management. The team looked at 3 different platforms and decided to test one of them.
After 6 months of attempting to get everything to work, however, the shiny new solution also proved unable to satisfy MicroCapture’s specific use case. “We were still having to enter some data into Xero and then into the new system. We also found setting up the BOMs too complicated and wanted to do batch coding which, at the time, was still in development in this particular software,” Kate adds. It was then that MicroCapture found MRPeasy and decided to give it a 6-month trial run to see if it could be a better match. More than two years on, MRPeasy has proven to satisfy MicroCapture’s needs near perfectly.
Up and running in a single week
Next to a seamless Xero integration, MicroCapture had a number of key requirements for the manufacturing system that MRPeasy proved to capably fill. One among these was the ability to assign user groups and roles for MicroCapture’s production, operations, and accounts teams. Another key functionality that the team was looking for and that MRPeasy accommodated was a production planning capacity capable of scheduling orders in advance and easily linking purchase orders (POs) with manufacturing orders (MOs). Finally, MRPeasy’s batch tracking and quality inspection functionalities also proved game changers, adapting near-perfectly to the company’s QC workflow.
Whereas MicroCapture’s manufacturing and operations teams had struggled to get to grips with previous solutions, MRPeasy was accepted very well, and the initial implementation proved easy and fast. Kate Taylor comments: “I set up bills of materials and products in around a week and then spent a day with each department training them on how to do things in MRPeasy.” To others looking to implement, Kate recommends not to go all-in straight out: “You should set up BOMs and production plans first and then workstations and functions in production. I also suggest running a couple of test orders through the system.”
A unified manufacturing ecosystem
In addition to meeting their requirements, MRPeasy has been a big help in streamlining workflows, raising overall efficiency, and enabling MicroCapture to set up its workstations intuitively to handle very complex batch processing. “The production planning and scheduling functionality is much easier and more efficient than using spreadsheets or whiteboards. With MRPeasy, we’ve seen overall waste reduced by around 3%,” adds Kate.
The MicroCapture team also really loves the notes function that they use to communicate across departments and share important info on orders. “It works well for us the way we use it,” says Kate, also adding praise to the software’s tech support team: “The MRPeasy support team is really, really good! Sometimes they get back to you within the hour, sometimes during the night, but there is always an answer waiting for you in the morning!”
With production management and planning running smoother than ever thanks to MRPeasy, MicroCapture can direct its focus on further increasing its already high customer satisfaction rate and R&D.