Nonprofit Uses NetSuite to Streamline its Operations and Expand its Mission
By Taking Fleece & Thank You from paper and spreadsheets to a unified cloud enterprise resource planning platform, ERP Success Partners helps the nonprofit make a positive impact on the lives of children in Michigan and around the world.

When Nicholas Kristock was working with nonprofit pediatric healthcare agencies in Australia, he got an up-close look at exactly what a child goes through when he or she has to be hospitalized for an illness or condition.

“When I moved back to Michigan in 2015, that experienced weighed heavy on my heart, said Kristock, Founder and Executive Director of Fleece & Thank You, a children’s charity dedicated to providing comfort and hope through innovative programs and materials for children who are facing illness.

When a serendipitous text message arrived from Kristock’s twin sister (a pediatric oncologist), asking him to make a blanket for a child who was in the hospital, his curiosity was instantly piqued. “I asked her how many blankets she needed and how often,” Kristock remembers. “Her answer was: Nick, we always need blankets; they dramatically change a patient’s room and we never have enough of them.”

Blankets and Video Messages
With that image burned into his mind, Kristock started calling every children’s hospital in Michigan for their feedback on the same questions. “Everyone gave me the same answer,” he said. “That’s when I knew we could start an organization that could help solve the problem.”

In Michigan alone, roughly 30,000 children go into the hospital annually and have to stay overnight. Along with providing a colorful, comfortable blanket to these kids, Kristock also wanted to help close the isolation gap that exists when someone is in the hospital, and particularly when those stays extend past a week or so. He came up with the idea of video messaging from the person who was sending the blanket, and the opportunity for the child to respond back.

The rest, as they say, is history. Since its founding in 2015, 5-employee Fleece & Thank You has worked with every hospital in Michigan plus those in 47 other states and 12 countries. For its first few years in existence, Fleece & Thank You was running on manual systems, spreadsheets, and outside solutions like ShipStation. “We had other solutions that were pieced together to make a pseudo-ERP,” Kristock added, “but they were all segmented.”

Social Impact

As Fleece & Thank You grew, so did its need for a unified, cloud-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) system to manage its end-to-end business processes. “We got to a point where if we were to receive 20 orders at once, we would have been slammed,” said Kristock, who discussed this issue with the ERP Success Partners team and was introduced to Oracle NetSuite Social Impact, a program that supports nonprofits with cloud technology tools.

“That started our journey through NetSuite, with ERP Success Partners playing an integral role in getting us up and running on the platform,” said Kristock, who adds that the timing of the implementation aligned perfectly with Fleece & Thank You’s growing popularity.

“A few opportunities hit shortly after getting set up on NetSuite and we were able to fulfill 120 orders a day for multiple weeks on end because we had everything set up,” he continued. “We owe ERP Success Partners a lot for helping to get us where we are today.”

Confidence in the Numbers

Today, Fleece & Thank You utilizes all of NetSuite’s standard functionalities, plus several custom reporting and workflow capabilities that were developed by ERP Success Partners. Kristock said the implementation partner was on deck throughout the process and always ready to help with any and all aspects of the process.

So far, Kristock said the key benefits of Fleece & Thank You’s NetSuite implementation include both cost savings and time savings, the latter of which is significant for the company’s small team. “We’ve seen huge time savings because all of our information is in one system,” said Kristock, who also enjoys having high levels of transparency, clarity, and confidence in the company’s inventory, and financial data.

“We know that when an order is fulfilled, it’s automatically getting deducted from inventory and that those changes affect the whole system,” said Kristock, who will need that level of confidence when it comes time to realize his dream of building out a franchise model for Fleece & Thank You.

“We have confidence in our numbers now,” he continued, “whereas in the past when someone changed the inventory management system, we never really knew if it was recorded, whether the order was actually fulfilled, and if the numbers were accurate. Now we know.”