Katana is a very transparent new-age ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) solution designed specifically for brands manufacturing their own products. So if you don’t have to deal with manufacturing or your own warehouse, you don’t need to keep reading, save for some instances of outsourced manufacturing where you are in charge of the Build of Materials (BOM). Or if you need to manage inventory across multiple locations and sync/integrate with your sales channel, Katana can help you run in an efficient way to lower inventory overhead, thus improving cash flow. As they put it, they are "the lean inventory management solution that helps you create 'Just-In-Time' workflows across your business".
They have 3 layers of success for their merchants, successful use of the technology, and they have a partner program so if you want an expert to come out to your warehouse and help you improve your systems and processes, you can connect with them on that.
Katana offers direct integrations into Shopify and WooCommerce, and works great for both direct to consumer and B2B workflows. “Made to order” and “made to stock” workflows can work side by side.
They have a shop floor app that automatically prioritizes which orders a staff member needs to be working on that really streamlines the manufacturing process.
Katana works with outsourced manufacturers so that you can track cost, cost of service, and build of materials.
They even have workflows for partial shipping if you need to get out part of an order or part of a build of materials.
Sales orders are automatically piped from your Shopify/WooCommerce into their ERP, at which point you will be able to see if your raw materials are in stock, if the ingredients have been processed, and then getting an expected completion date of the order and when it is sent out for shipping.
You can easily reprioritize orders from within the backend of the system and they automatically change the expected inventory levels for that order, based on the new priority.
Batch tracking - bringing in batches, setting expiration dates, and making sure you utilize the right materials.
What’s a Rich Text element?
The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.
Static and dynamic content editing
A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!
How to customize formatting for each rich text
Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.
Katana works very well with both Quickbooks and Xero, so they don’t make you switch off your existing accounting platform. This is huge in maintaining your operational and book keeping systems.
Cash flow! Typically you may buy more raw materials and limit your customization options just to ensure that you have everything you need in stock. With Katana, you can track demand through to raw materials so that you can better understand how much material you have in stock. Katana also has an integration tool partner that helps you predict sales and when you’re going to need to replenish your materials, thus keeping cash flow in a better spot by not overburdening your warehouse with materials/money just sitting on the shelves.
Perfect for manufacturers that have variable Build of Materials (BOM) for their products/SKUs. Katana can really help you understand profitability by product and product line based on actual costs of your BOMs. As well as ensuring that you have all of the materials in stock.
Typically the operations manager, COO, or whomever is managing your inventory and production, is going to be the one getting setup and running with Katana.
Katana is a super robust manufacturing Enterprise Resource Planning tool, as such it can take as long as a month to get all of your workflows/recipes setup, and sometimes (for larger merchants or those with a ton of different SKUs that all have different BOMs and processes) they even suggest bringing in an expert partner of theirs to really make sure that you are properly setup with their platform.
If you are at the point where you need an ERP - Katana is definitely a tool you should be exploring. They are robust and the fact that they don’t require you to turn off your Quickbooks or Xero accounting software is a big plus.
They are still building out their warehouse management functionality, which will be live in Q1 2023. If you need bin location technology - that is still in the works, so be sure to ask about it in the demo process.