Katana Inventory Software Review (Feb 2023): The Ultimate Guide

In this Katana review, we’re going to be looking at one of the top solutions available for managing order fulfillment in the manufacturing space.

Katana is designed to provide companies with the visibility they need to manage their inventory and production flows. It covers everything from in-house to outsourced production, to give you a real-time, dynamic view of your business operations.

The solution is packed full of useful tools, from omnichannel order management technology, to end-to-end traceability for batches, materials, and expiry data. There are contract tools, real-time master planning services, and a host of other features to explore.

Today, we’re going to cover everything you need to know about the Katana manufacturing ERP software. Let’s dive in.

What is Katana Software?

Katana is an end-to-end management solution for an entire workshop or factory setting. This cloud-based management software is tailored specifically to the needs of the average manufacturing business. With features to suit virtually every workflow.

You can use the technology alongside any of the other apps you may already be using too. Not only does the solution integrate seamlessly with solutions like WooCommerce, BigCommerce, Shopify, and many other tools (such as your CRM system), but it also has an API available. This means developers can form their own connections.  

Principally, Katana is a platform which is built to serve the needs of merchants who intend to scale their businesses. It tirelessly works to make Direct-to-consumer(D2C) manufacturing a painless experience. 

Katana makes  the logistics part of any business a success. I must say, its distribution model is quite distinctive. It saves retailers money on dealing with middle men for inventory management. . Actually, Katana grasps the fact that the goal of any business is to make customers happy. 

The best part?

Katana resolves the confusion of tracking raw materials and processes  via its automated dashboard which proves to be user-friendly and trouble-free.

So let’s delve deeper.

Katana Software Review: What is It?

A proficient dashboard

From the look of things, Katana‘s dashboard seems so quick on the uptake. It’s so easy to navigate through and interpret its spreadsheets. The demo account has sufficient data which gives me good pointers to help me run my business. It has a sell screen which allows the user to have a better apprehension of all sales orders.

To be precise, it automatically updates me with a status on each delivery, orders, and stock count. The software generates a unique number for all sales orders. It’s stunning how easy it gets whenever I want to identify and track all orders. It has a ‘Contacts’ section which lets me save my customer’s details alongside the total price for each purchase.

How about its manufacturing resource planning (MRP)?

What’s more captivating is its capacity to indicate a delivery deadline date. On the other hand, I find the sales status pretty much intelligible.

And here’s why.

Its sales item availability shows me if a product is expected, in stock or not available. What a remarkable feature to depend on! Take note, the status automatically updates itself. Fortunately, I don’t have to manually do my stock management. Katana’s software puts together all products in two ways. Either via Make to Order (MTO) or Make to Stock (MTS) manufacturing orders.

The end result?

Let’s use a practical scenario. If I receive a sales order, what follows is the process of manufacturing the product. The system marks the availability status of such a transaction as ‘Expected’. It’s that simple.

And what makes the most sense is its production status. It sort of reflects what’s going on behind the scenes. For instance, If the manufacturing process is underway, it indicates that the work is in progress. Also, it lets me choose a delivery status to highlight products which are being shipped.

Katana Software Review: Pricing

When purchasing any new software or solution for your business, it’s important to ensure the plans available suit your budget. Katana has a range of plans available, sorted into two categories. There are plans for “most businesses”, as well as options specifically tailored to small businesses.

Additionally, the solution offers discounts if you’re willing to pay for your service on an annual basis, rather than paying monthly. Let’s start by looking at the plans for “most businesses”.

  • Essential: $129 monthly or $99 per month annually: This plan tracks up to 500 shipped sales order lines per month. There’s support for up to 3 warehouses and 1 full access user. You can also integrate the system with Shopify, WooCommerce, Xero, and QuickBooks online. Plus, you can access the Katana API, and get help via chat or email.
  • Advanced: $349 monthly or $299 per month annually: This plan offers all the features of Essential, plus 3 shop floor operator accounts, unlimited warehouses, multicurrency support, barcode scanning, batch and expiry date tracking and custom PDF printouts. You also get full access to Katana’s open API, and Shop Floor App.
  • Professional: $999 monthly or $799 per month annually: This plan offers all the features of Advanced, and tracks up to 25,000 shipped order lines per month. You’ll also get additional support, such as a free onboarding package and dedicated success manager. Plus, there’s early access for all new features.
  • Enterprise: Custom pricing: This package offers complete access to the Professional plan, as well as tailored pricing based on your needs for unlimited shipped sales order lines each month. You also get VIP support.

For small businesses, Katana recommends the “Essentials” plan. The solution comes with full inventory control management, with on-hand, committed, and expected stock tracking in real-time. You can also manage product variants and materials in one place, access live data, and plan production with accurate completion dates and insights.

If you’re not sure which plan you need, Katana has a calculator available which allows you to pinpoint the best package based on your number of shipped order lines, and your specific “extra” requirements. As your business starts to grow, you can consider upgrading to the Advanced plan, or the Professional option.

Katana Software Review: Features

To stand out as one of the leading tools for manufacturing resource planning, Katana MRP needs to ensure it stays up to date. That means rolling out plenty of useful features that improve your chances of a successful business optimization strategy. The Estonia based business goes above and beyond to ensure you don’t need to rely on separate Android tools or Excel sheets to track all of your business information.

With Katana manufacturing software, business leaders can get a better view of everything that’s happening behind the scenes of their business. This makes it much easier to improve workflow on a deeper level. For instance, Katana will tell you when you have enough of your raw materials in stock to begin production. You can also use the service to quickly purchase anything you’re missing.

There’s also a priority-based system for production planning which gives you real-time updates on inventory movement. This ensures that business leaders can set reorder points, establish stock for high-demand periods, and more. Some of the major features of Katana include:

  • Make to order and make to stock functionality: You can save your bill-of-materials (BOMs) and let Katana make automatic adjustments to your inventory, calculate costs for operations, and assign raw inventory when they’re generated.
  • Multichannel multi location performance: To ensure ease of use, Katana pulls all of your sales order information into a single visual dashboard where you can enjoy complete inventory visibility. Tracking the status of orders at various warehouses and locations is easy.
  • Manufacturing floor control: The Katana software system makes forecasting and real-time management easier with a simplified overview of your manufacturing operations. This makes it easier to handle ERP (enterprise resource management) set team member tasks and monitor project progress. You can even track the time people spend on certain tasks.
  • Outsource manufacturing: If you don’t produce your products in house, you can connect Katana with your job shop to stay in control of your manufacturing processes. Managing raw materials, orders, and manufacturing operations is a breeze.
  • Production planning: There are plenty of customization options to make life easier for any company size. Drag and drop priorities into place for manufacturing tasks and track the availability of crucial materials. You can also identify delay risks and predict completion dates with real-time production status overviews.
  • Inventory optimization: Get end-to-end traceability with your MRP-system solution. Track the expiry date of certain items in a multi-channel environment. You can even manage variants of various products and raw material inventory across warehouses.
  • Sales order fulfilment: Make sure that you’re keeping your small business customers happy. Drag-and-drop prioritized customer orders, track product availability, and identify delivery issues in seconds. You can also sync orders from various channels into one dashboard and track every SKU.
  • Shop floor control: For workshop users, there’s the option to create and remove shop floor operators in minutes, receive task information for incoming orders, and re-assign tasks whenever you choose. There’s MO task and ingredient list information, time tracking functionality, and task status updates that automatically send to the MRP.
  • Purchasing and costing: Enjoy on-time purchasing that you can automate according to your material requirements. You can track delay risks in your supply chain and determine manufacturing costs based on product bills. Plus, there’s support for building product recipes for smart manufacturing budgeting strategies.

On top of all that, Katana also integrates with the online services that you rely on every day, to take your small manufacturing system to the next level. You can link your Katana software with everything from Shopify to Xero. Tracking every invoice and work order is easier with integrations.

Katana Review: Pros and Cons

Pros 👍

  • Budget-friendly rates
  • Easy to use SaaS technology
  • A comprehensive dashboard with all information in one place
  • Comes with a manufacturing-oriented approach
  • It integrates with Shopify without any hurdles
  • Offers seamless integration with leading tools for accounting
  • Works well with WooCommerce according to screenshots
  • Importing data from other platforms is effortless

Shopify Integration

Katana‘s software makes order fulfillment uncomplicated. Furthermore, there’s a short video on the help center guide which gives a brief run-through of the entire integration process. Katana syncs in with my Shopify store and gets to handle orders professionally.

And how do I make the configurations?

  1. Go to settings and click the ‘Integration’ button
  2. You’ll see the Shopify Logo. Click ‘connect’
  3. Katana will need you to enter the name of your Shopify store.
  4. I get to choose the information which I want to connect between the two platforms

Shopify Order Tracking

To begin with, Katana allows me to keep a close watch of all orders via its capacity to import are sales, whether ‘fulfilled’ or ‘not fulfilled from Shopify. In fact, I’m able to sync all orders with both ‘Paid’ and ‘Pending’ payment status. On the Items screen, I get to see all my products. This includes all variants which are similar to those listed on my Shopify store.

But here’s the catch.

Katana‘s production management approach is quite distinctive. For instance, it lets me know if a particular raw material is available. From this end, merchants can manufacture their products with absolute certainty that everything is in check. One might be overly curious. How does it sort my manufacturing tasks?

Good question.

In ordinary circumstances, there are pieces of work which take precedence over other manufacturing tasks. And the logic is pretty much straightforward. It could be that the order is urgently needed by a regular customer. Katana’s dashboard lets me drag and drop all jobs which need immediate attention to the top.

Besides that, it accurately captures all the completion dates. Any store owner knows that a delayed delivery could ultimately result in negative customer feedback. Opportunely, its production scheduling is always up to the task. It lets me set a flexible material supply timetable. Indeed, this is a tool which mitigates any potential risks linked to delays which ruin all logistics operations.

What’s more intriguing, is its production status which auto-updates in real-time.

Shopify Inventory Tracking

Katana imports all the stock levels from my Shopify store and calculates the number of products which are in stock. The software lends a helping hand to a user who wants to work with accurate numbers. Inventory control comes into play in a very elaborate way.

No more assumptions!

All inventory transactions are automated. Lack of sufficient data can be a huge stumbling block for any store owner. We’ve all had a fair share of downfalls while striving to meet our business objectives. But Katana looks things on the bright side. I’m always cognizant of all the integral activities.

Here’s a typical case.

I know the total number of products which are ready for shipment. Also, I get a better appraisal of all raw materials in stock. All the product variants in my Shopify store are well-aligned on Katana’s dashboard. This includes all the photos, sizes and product descriptions. Not forgetting all the materials which I need, to come up with a complete product anytime an order is made.

Literary speaking, getting hold of such details is a wonderful experience which totally pays off in the long run. This leads the user to make well-founded decisions on manufacturing and order fulfillment. It’s amazing how its reorder entry point builds up a conclusive inventory count. Katana helps the user delegate tasks to all employees and it records exact pricing for all production expenses.

Katana Software Review: Integrations

While Shopify is one of the better-known integration options for Katana, it’s not the only solution. You can also get native integrations with QuickBooks Online, Xero, and WooCommerce. Katana Software also supports integrations through Zapier, and marketing connections with partners like Arka and Packhelp.

QuickBooks integration

The QuickBooks Katana integration automates your accounting processes so you can keep your orders synchronized without any annoying manual data entry. You can sync invoices and track sales order statuses within a visual grid. There’s also the option to turn your purchase orders in Katana to bills on QuickBooks with one button.

Katana keeps all your supplier and customer information in sync, with invoices and bills that transfer naturally from Katana to QuickBooks. Once you have the two tools connected, you can create bills and invoices in Katana and they’ll automatically update in your QuickBooks account.

Xero Integration

The Xero integration with Katana takes a similar approach to the Katana and QuickBooks solution. You can keep your orders synchronized in both systems and prevent inconsistencies in your record keeping. Users can easily turn bills and purchase orders into invoices and bills in Xero. And you can keep all your contacts in sync too.

Once you connect Katana to Xero, every time you create an invoice or a bill in Katana it will automatically sync with your Xero system.

WooCommerce Integration

The WooCommerce integration with Katana makes it easy for manufacturers building their business in WooCommerce to handle company operations and manage inventory. You can manage things like product recipes and ensure that you purchase essential materials on time. It’s easy to avoid missing stock with alerts, and manage changes in production demands of your team members. Plus, you never have to worry about missing a delivery deadline.

With WooCommerce and Katana, you can sync products between Katana and WooCommerce instantly, keeping inventory levels automatically correct. You also have access to automated order management. Whenever a customer makes a purchase from your store, the sales order automatically imports into the Katana module.

The Katana and WooCommerce integration also means that you can set up alerts whenever you’re running low on stock and materials.

Customer Support

Katana‘s team is more than happy to help its users. They have a live chat widget which is accessible in case I have any queries. Over and above that, their help and support section has a couple of tutorial videos which demonstrate how to operate its features.

The Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) guide is something which you might consider putting into use. You can find quick feedback from their social media handles. Katana is so active on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter.

There’s a blog section with lots of relevant content. If you upgrade to a more advanced plan for the SaaS software, you’ll be able to access more support for your live inventory management solution. Aside from the resources on the KatanaMRP.com website, you’ll have access to dedicated customer success managers and onboarding tools.

Wrapping Up

With a host of positive user reviews, and a fantastic reputation, Katana stands out as one of the best solutions available for manufacturing companies. 

Whether you need store template options to sell physical products on the web, you’re offering webinars to customers, or you’re dealing with software sales, the right tools are essential.

Seems like Katana‘s software breaks new ground in the ecommerce industry. It proves to handle all manufacturing processes, inventory and Shopify integration with lots of precision. Any serious retailer should give Katana a try. After all, it has a free trial version for all its new users. Definitely not the most elite in the market, but it has all the basic features one would want to depend on.

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