With the increase in competition, companies are required to be more efficient and productive in their business operations. And, the manufacturing industry is a complex one, the more you are able to automate your operations, the better off you will be.
However, small businesses are also not left out of these benefits as they have the same need for efficiency and productivity. In order to achieve this goal, they must have an effective management system that will help them manage all aspects from production to sales tracking efficiently.
This is where the manufacturing resource planning (MRP) software comes into play. It helps manufacturers plan and controls their inventory levels, track orders, and monitor costs while improving overall processes.
Whether your business is at starting or growing stage, you should definitely invest in such systems as they are very cost effective and can save time and money in the long run.
That’s why today we’ll be reviewing one of the most popular MRP solutions on the market right now: Katana MRP. We’ll be taking a look at its features, pros and cons, and what makes it unique compared to other similar products.
So, without any hassle, let’s get started with our detailed review of Katana MRP.
What Is Katana MRP?
As we know, manufacturers bring ideas to life through their products. According to a recent survey, the manufacturing industry accounts for 11.39% of the total output and employs 8.51% of the workforce in the United States alone.
So, whether it is 10 or 10,000 orders per day, every product needs to be planned, tracked and managed properly. This is where the manufacturing resource planner (MRP) software come into play.
The team of Kristjan, Priit, and Hannes created Katana MRP because of the problems that manufacturers face when managing their inventories, orders, and finances
KATANA is a manufacturing enterprise resource planning (ERP) system that has been developed to help manufacturers in their business processes, and it’s the most powerful solution for small-to-medium sized enterprises.
It offers all the functionalities of an integrated ERP software including finance, sales & marketing, purchasing, production management, warehouse management, etc.
Who Is Katana For?
Manufacturers who want to improve their business processes by automating their entire operation.
They want to gain visibility over their entire supply chain and make sure that everything goes smoothly. They also want to reduce errors and waste, which ultimately leads to higher profits.
Moreover, those who want to streamline their business processes such as inventory management, production scheduling, and quality control.
In short, Katana is designed for anyone looking to automate their manufacturing process and become more efficient.
Best Features – Why Does Katana Stand Out From The Crowd?
Well, in order to understand how Katana stands out from the crowd, we first need to take a look at some of the best features of this software.
1. Ease Of Use
One of the main reasons why people choose Katana is its ease of use. Unlike other similar products, Katana is easy to learn and implement.
You don’t have to spend hours training yourself before using it. In fact, even if you’re not familiar with manufacturing, you will still manage to master it within minutes.
Moreover, the dashboard is user-friendly and intuitive, so you won’t have to struggle with complex menus and screens.
Everything is at your fingertips, and you can easily access all the information you need. On the dashboard, you will see Sell, Make, Buy, Stock, Items, Contacts, and Settings tabs. That not only helps you keep track of your orders but also gives you full visibility over your operations.
2. Live Inventory Management – Make Sure Your Inventory Levels Are Always Correct
The manufacturing industry is one of the industries that are highly dependent on stock levels. If you don’t have enough stock, then you might lose customers.
On the other hand, if you run out of stock, then you might end up losing money. So, it’s very important to monitor your inventory levels.
That’s exactly what Katana does. It keeps track of your inventory levels and provides you with real-time updates about them.
From the dashboard, navigate to the Stock and then click on the “Inventory” tab. Then, you will be able to view the current inventory levels of each item.
So, you can track how many items are in stock, item category, the cost of each item, and much more.
Export reports are available too, so you can generate detailed reports regarding your inventory levels. To do so, simply select the report type and customize it according to your needs.
3. Real-time Master Planning – Maximize Productivity With Production Scheduling
Any business owner knows that planning is essential to success. However, most businesses fail because they lack proper planning.
With Katana, you’ll never face any problems when it comes to planning. This is because it allows you to create a schedule based on your requirements.
For example, you can set the number of units produced per day or week. Moreover, you can specify the quantity of each product, and the time required to produce each unit. The item is available in stock, and you can add multiple locations to your plan.
4. The Total Shop Floor Control – Manage All Your Operations From One Dashboard
Katana shop floor app is an integrated solution for managing all your operations from one place.
It has been designed keeping in mind the needs of every business owner. For instance, you can easily control your sales team by assigning tasks to them.
Furthermore, you can assign jobs to different employees or operators so that they can start or pause their work as needed.
Additionally, you can check the status of your orders and resource consumption via the app. And the real-time data makes sure that you always stay updated.
5. End-to-end Traceability – Track Every Order From Materials to Sold Goods
Every business relies heavily on its supply chain management system. But, this is where most companies struggle.
They often find themselves unable to identify which order came from which material. In addition, they cannot determine whether the right amount was delivered to the right location.
This is why it is extremely important to maintain complete traceability throughout your entire operation.
This is exactly what Katana offers. You can keep track of every single order and see who ordered what, when, and from where.
Moreover, the expiry dates of items can also be tracked. That way, you can ensure that the stock is available at all times.
Autogenerate batch and internal barcodes for easy identification of items. And, Katana allows you to trace faulty materials, batches, and products from materials through to sold goods.
6. Production Planning – Automatically Plan Your Business Activities
Plan your manufacturing activities with ease using Katana’s production planning feature.
You can easily define the number of units to be produced per hour, day, week, month, or year. Furthermore, you can specify the quantities of each product, and even the time required to produce them.
Simply drag and drop the priorities into the timeline view, and Katana will automatically generate a schedule based on your specifications.
Moreover, Katana provide you with accurate expected dates for each task. This helps you to make better decisions regarding your inventory levels.
Moreover, following are the Katana’s features that are worth mentioning:
- Production planning
- Purchase order management
- Based on product margins, make accurate pricing decisions
- Inventory optimization
- Using Katana’s open APIs and developer resources, you can build your own apps
- Automatic generation of batch and internal barcodes
- Material requirements planning
- Supply chain management
EASE OF USE
Katana Integrations – Easy Integration With Other Apps
The manufacturing business requires a lot of data entry, automation, and integrations.
That is why Katana has native as well as third-party integration options.
For example, if you want to integrate Katana with other applications like ERPs, CRMs, etc., then you can use its API.
It provides you with access to famous reporting, accounting, and CRM solutions.
Furthermore, you can connect Katana to popular eCommerce platforms such as Magento, Shopify, Bigcommerce, Woo Commerce, etc.
And, if you want to automate your processes, then you can integrate Katana with popular Zapier tools.
Moreover, you can also connect Katana with dozens of 3rd party apps. So, what are you waiting for? Start automating your business today!
Pros & Cons Of Katana – Is It Worth Buying?
When it comes to choosing a tool that is comparatively new, there are many things to consider. And, everything comes with good and bad sides. Because of this, we must know whether the tool is legit or not before buying it.
Similarly, when it comes to Katana, there are some pros and cons that you should be aware of.
First of all, let’s discuss the advantages of Katana.
Pros Of Katana
- Simple UI design, built to facilitate easy navigation
- No hidden charges, no monthly subscription fees
- Very user-friendly interface, designed by industry experts
- Excellent documentation, available online
- Full automation from start to finish
- Dozens of native and third-party integrations make it compatible with the most powerful platforms
- Powerful features, including inventory tracking, order processing, shipping, returns, etc.
- Automatic generation of barcodes, RFQs, invoices, labels, packing slips, etc.
Cons Of Katana
- The price may seem high at first but once you get used to it, you will never go back to manual work again
- There is no offline mode option
- There are some areas that could be improved, like customizing documents like quotations so every company has its own templates.
- Some of the features are not yet fully functional
Katana Review – Our Thoughts & Recommendations
Overall, Katana is one of the best solutions that can help you manage your entire manufacturing business. With its simple UI, it is easy to understand and navigate through.
You don’t have to worry about any hidden costs because it’s completely free.
Additionally, the software offers great customer service, excellent documentation, and full automation.
But, if we look at the prices of each plan separately, we can see that it is quite expensive compared to similar products on the market.
However, for small businesses, it might not be worth considering because they usually do not have enough resources to pay for such an expensive solution.
On the other hand, large companies usually have more money to spend on their software.
Moreover, when we tested Katana, we found out that it does offer a lot of useful features. But, the lack of customization options makes us think twice about using it. And some bugs in the software were really annoying. Delay in some operations was very frustrating.
So, depending on how much time and money you want to invest in your business, you should choose the right plan.
In conclusion, Katana is definitely worth trying out. But, if you’re looking for something cheaper, you should check out others.
Katana Pricing Overview – How Much Does It Cost?
As mentioned earlier, Katana comes with a free trial period of 14 days. However, if you want to continue using it, then you would need to buy a license.
But before buying one, let’s take a look at its pricing structure.
First off, there are two options available for purchasing a subscription. The first option is monthly and the second is yearly.
However, both subscriptions come with four different plans. Each plan has a different price range and offers a different set of features.
So, let’s discuss the pricing structure if you purchase Katana yearly.
Suitable for small businesses that don’t require much customization and automation. Additionally, the plan is suitable for a maximum of 500 shipped sales order lines per month and maintaining three warehouses.
The cost of this plan is $99 per month if purchased annually.
This plan is ideal for medium-sized companies that are in the growing phase. It allows you to customize the system according to your needs.
Additionally, it provides you with more flexibility than the Essential plan. For example, you can maintain up to 5,000 shipped sales orders per month.
Furthermore, you can also add as many warehouses as you like.
Moreover, the Advanced plan costs $299 per month if purchased annually, and you can add 3 shop floor operators.
Manufacturers with large-scale production facilities will find this plan useful. This plan allows you to automate all processes related to inventory management.
It also helps you manage multiple locations and suppliers.
You can easily track shipments from anywhere in the world.
Additionally, 25,000 shipped sales order lines can be maintained by this plan with unlimited warehouses.
Finally, the Professional plan costs $599 per month if purchased annually and you can add 3 shop floor operators.
This plan suits manufacturers who have a lot of employees and need to automate various processes.
Talk to Katana’s customer service team to know more about the Enterprise plan.
It also gives you access to advanced features such as multi-warehouse functionality, integration with ERP systems, etc.
Katana Support – 24/7 Customer Service
We understand how crucial customer service is for any business. So, they have made it our top priority to offer world-class support services.
Their dedicated support team is always ready to help you out whenever you need them. They are ready to answer your questions and resolve your issues.
In fact, they have an extensive knowledge base that contains answers to common queries. Moreover, you can contact the support team directly via email, or chat.
If you still face problems after contacting them, then you can file a ticket in their online support portal.
A response was received within an hour after we contacted them. Their support staffs are very friendly and helpful.
The best part about their support is that they do not charge anything extra for answering your emails.
Conclusion – A Few Final Thoughts
We know how manufacturers operate these days. They need to manage multiple different tasks on daily basis.
They spend hours manually entering information into spreadsheets, updating orders, checking stock levels, etc.
So, when we talk about efficiency, Katana is one of the best options out there.
Well, Katana seems to be a great solution for small-enterprise level businesses because of its simplicity and ease of use.
However, you should be careful while using it because it does come with a few disadvantages too.
But, overall, I think that it is worth trying out if you are looking for something simple and cost-effective.
We hope our detailed Katana review helped you decide whether to buy this software or not.
If you have any questions regarding the product, feel free to ask us in the comments section below.