The ability to manage your sales and manufacturing processes based on order priorities gives you the operational flexibility needed in a modern business. When circumstances change (e.g. a certain customer requires a product faster, some materials arrive late from suppliers), you can simply drag-and-drop to change the priority of orders, and your production schedule, tasks, materials and products will be aligned automatically to the new reality.

How the priority of orders affects product and material commitments to Sales and Manufacturing Orders probably takes a few minutes to comprehend, but is actually not difficult to learn and easy to apply once you get it. 

Which orders are we talking about?

In Katana, you can change the priorities by drag-and-dropping both Sales Orders in the "Sell" screen and Manufacturing Orders in the "Schedule" view.

In certain situations, changing the priorities on one of those screens also affects the priorities on the other screen.

Understanding links between Sales and Manufacturing Orders

There are two types of Manufacturing Orders (MO) in Katana: Make to Order and Make to Stock. Both are included in the "Schedule" view in the "Make" screen, enabling you to manage production priorities in the single queue.

You can read more about Creating Manufacturing Orders here.

Make to Order MOs are linked permanently to specific Sales Orders. The priority of those MOs is automatically synced with linked Sales Orders. Changing the priority of Sales Orders automatically updates production priorities in the "Schedule" view, and vice versa.

Make to Stock MOs are not linked to any Sales Order. Changing the priority of Sales Orders will not have any effect on the priority of those MOs, and vice versa.

How priorities affect Product Availability?

Product Availability shows whether the required product for a specific Sales Order is "In stock", "Expected" or "Not available". The priority of Sales Orders in the "Sell" screen has a different effect on Product Availability of a Sales Order depending on whether the products required by the SO are Made to Order or Made to Stock. Note that there is no Product Availability status for Manufacturing Orders.

In case you have created Make to Stock Manufacturing Orders for products required by the Sales Order, then the Product Availability status is not depending on the priority of Sales Orders in any way.

If you have not created any Make to Order Manufacturing Orders for a Sales Order, then the Product Availability for this SO is calculated based on the priority of Sales Orders. Higher priority SOs book the products in your stock or products expected from Make to Stock MOs first. This means that even when you have some quantity of the required product "In Stock", the Product Availability for this particular SO might still show "Not available" if another higher priority SO has already reserved the same product.

It is important to note that Sales Orders for which you have created Make to Order Manufacturing Orders DO NOT participate in the priority calculations. These Sales Orders are expecting products from linked Manufacturing Orders and, thus, do not book any products you have available "In stock" or any products being Made to Stock.

Read more about Product Availability.

How priorities affect Material Availability?

Material Availability shows whether the required ingredients for a product on a Sales Order or Manufacturing Order is "In stock", "Expected" or "Not available".

Note that Material Availability is displayed for both Sales Orders and Manufacturing Orders. While Material Availability on a Manufacturing Order provides stock information to the production floor, displaying it on a Sales Order is especially relevant for Make to Order businesses as it gives immediate information about the availability of materials required for making the products ordered by customers.

Material Availability is always calculated based on the priority of orders. Materials are not permanently linked to any orders. This means that even when you have the required ingredients in stock, the Material Availability for a particular order might still show "Not available" if another higher priority order has already reserved the same ingredient.

As mentioned, both Sales Orders and Manufacturing Orders book materials you have "In Stock" or that are "Expected" from suppliers. But SOs and MOs are displayed in separate lists in the "Sell" and "Schedule" screens, which are not always matching. For example:

- You might not have created Make to Order MOs for all existing SOs, or

- you might have some Make to Stock MOs for products that are not yet required by any existing SOs.

So, how does Katana combine the priorities of orders in the "Sell" screen and "Schedule" view to display relevant Material Availability statuses? Katana applies the following principles (these are applied to calculating the Material Availability both in the "Sell" screen and "Schedule" view):

- For calculating the Material Availability, Katana takes all open Sales Orders and Manufacturing Orders and looks at them as a single queue.

- If the Product Availability for a product on a Sales Order is "In stock" then the Material Availability for this product is "Processed" and no more materials are committed to this product. This product does not take part in Material Availability calculations in any way.

- If the Product Availability for a product on a Sales Order is "Expected" and the product is produced by a Make to Order Manufacturing Order, then the Material Availability is calculated based on the Sales Order's priority in the queue (i.e. all higher orders book materials first).

- If the Product Availability for a product on a Sales Order is "Expected" and the product is produced by a Make to Stock Manufacturing Order, then the Material Availability for this product displays the Material Availability status of that Manufacturing Order.

- In this queue, existing Make to Stock Manufacturing Orders are assumed to have a priority position that they have in your "Schedule" relative to any Make to Order Manufacturing Orders behind and in front of them.

- If the Product Availability for a product on a Sales Order is "Not available", then the Material Availability is calculated based on the Sales Order's priority in the queue (i.e. all higher orders book materials first). This is similar to a situation where a Make to Order Manufacturing Order has been created for the product on the Sales Order, so it gives you information about Material Availability even before adding the related MO to the "Schedule".

- If all your open Manufacturing Orders are Making to Stock and there are no relative Make to Order Manufacturing Orders in the "Schedule", then all Make to Stock MOs are assumed to have higher priority than any Sales Order.

- To clarify, as Make to Order Manufacturing Orders are directly linked to specific Sales Orders that are already booking the required materials, then materials are not double-booked to any MTO MOs. In other words, Make to Order Manufacturing Orders are not included separately in the queue as the underlying SOs that are included in the queue are already booking the required materials.

- In the "Schedule" view, Material Availability for Make to Order Manufacturing Orders is displayed based on the Material Availability for the products on the underlying Sales Order in the queue.

Read more about Material Availability.