This guide is ideal if you are just starting with Katana and looking to set up the software for your business. It also helps you to understand how Katana works and the value it can provide to your business. 

If you are selling your products on Shopify or WooCommerce, then you can easily import some of the necessary data from Shopify or WooCommerce to Katana with a few clicks and considerably speed up the setup process. Please find a Getting Started Guide for Shopify or WooCommerce users here.

The guide below is mainly for non-Shopify users, explaining all the necessary steps for setting up the Katana account in detail.

Katana provides flexibility to set up the account in various ways. We have included tips and comments in the steps below.

Getting Started Guide

1. Watch tutorial videos and explore demo data

We recommend watching the following tutorial videos to get a basic understanding of Katana:

  • How Katana works? (5 mins)
  • Full Katana Demo (80 mins)

You can find more videos about certain features here (e.g. Shopify integration, QuickBooks integration, Product Recipes, Default suppliers).

We have added some demo data to your account, which should make the initial exploring of Katana easier. It helps you to test the software and understand the basics without entering any of your own data.

When you are ready to start setting up Katana for your own business, you can delete the demo data with just two clicks from the blue "Demo data" button at the top right corner of the screen.

2. Get the basics sorted

Go to the "Settings" screen to:

  • Select a base currency.
  • Check the Unit of Measures. We have included some most common metric units to the account, but you can edit and add all necessary unit of measures that you use in your business. 
  • Enter the tax rates related to sales and purchasing. This is relevant for displaying the correct total monetary amounts on Sales and Purchase Orders.

Note: You do not need to worry about Categories, Operations, and Resources that you see in "Settings". Those can be entered more conveniently at the later steps of this guide.

If you are selling on Shopify or WooCommerce, or using QuickBooks or Xero for accounting, you can connect Katana from the "Integrations" page in "Settings". Getting started via integrations is faster and easier than setting up all data manually, read more about connecting Shopify, WooCommerce, QuickBooks, and Xero.

3. Invite your team

Invite your team to Katana and never be out of sync again. The invited team members can create their own accounts and set-up their login details, giving them access to the software.

Click on your account name in the top right corner in Katana and select "Team" from the drop-down menu. Click "+ Invite" and enter the e-mail address of the team member you would like to invite to your Katana account.

We will send a link to that address where your new teammate can create a Katana account and join your team.

4. Create or import products

Start entering your data by creating products. This is what you should know about products in Katana:

  • Products are items that you make and sell to your customers. 
  • Products for resale - products can be purchased directly from suppliers for resale.
  • Subassemblies - semi-finished stock is classified as products in Katana. So, if you wish to track the stock for subassemblies, add them as products to Katana.
  • If you have certain items that you use for making your products and also sell to customers without any processing, we recommend adding those items as products to Katana (not as materials because materials cannot be sold directly to customers).

Products can be added to Katana in three ways:

  • Create manually - use this approach if you have a limited number of products or do not have a list of products defined anywhere else before starting with Katana.
  • Import from a spreadsheet - use our template for importing your entire product portfolio into Katana in minutes. You can also import your current stock levels with the template.
  • Import from Shopify or WooCommerce - only if you are selling on Shopify or WooCommerce. You can also import your current product stock levels from Shopify or WooCommerce.

5. Create or import materials

Next step is to get your materials into Katana. This is what you should know about materials:

  • Materials are items that you use in making your products. These are the raw materials, ingredients, components, and parts.
  • Materials cannot be sold directly to customers. Therefore, if you have certain items that you use for making your products and also sell to customers without any processing, we recommend adding those items to Katana as products.

Materials can be added to Katana in two ways:

  • Create manually - use this approach if you have a limited number of materials or if you do not have a list of materials defined anywhere before starting with Katana.
  • Import from a spreadsheet - use our template for importing your materials into Katana in minutes. You can also import your current stock levels with the template.

Tip: You can quick-add new materials to Katana while you are creating Product Recipes (see the relevant step below) or Purchase Orders. Therefore, you do not need to enter all your materials before proceeding to Product Recipes.

6. Create Product Recipes

Product Recipes (also called bill-of-materials or simply BOM) are the list of ingredients or components used for making a product. 

Product Recipes enable:

  • Calculating the material cost for your product.
  • Automatically recording inventory movements for relevant materials when products are made.

Recipes for a product in Katana can be:

  • Created manually
  • Copied from another product - if you have different products that use similar ingredients, copying the recipe from another product is a fast way of adding a recipe to a product. You can always edit the recipe after copying, so you can just use other product's recipe as a template.

Katana supports subassemblies, which enables including a product in a Product Recipe of another product. You can read more about subassemblies here.

7. Add Production Operations

Production Operations (also called routing) are the step-by-step operations that need to be completed to make the product. For example: cutting, coating, assembly, quality control, packaging.

Production Operations enable:

  • Tracking the manufacturing process at a detailed step-by-step level.
  • Creating detailed task lists for employees and workstations. If you are looking to manage the production plan only at a product level (e.g. "we need to make 3 pieces of Product X") but not at the operational steps level (e.g. "employee A needs to cut the material for Product X and employee B needs to assemble it"), then you might not need to enter Production Operations.
  • Calculating estimated production completion dates for each Manufacturing Order.
  • Adding the cost of the operations to the manufacturing cost of the product.

Operations for products in Katana can be:

  • Created manually
  • Copied from another product - if you have products that require similar operations, copying the operations from another product is a fast way of adding operations to a product. You can always edit the operations after copying, so you can just use other product's operations as a template.
Tip: Go and check your Product list in the "Items" screen. This includes all product variants, and enables you to quickly analyze the sales price, cost, profit margin and production time of your products. You can filter and sort the list.

8. Insert your initial stock levels

If you already have an operating business, you probably have some existing product and material stock in the workshop or warehouse. Get your stock levels into Katana to ensure a smooth transition to the new solution for your business.

You can enter your initial stock levels to Katana in three ways:

  • Create a Stock Adjustment - if you have entered your products and materials to Katana manually, create a stock adjustment to record your stock levels.
  • Import from a spreadsheet - our import template for products and materials also enables importing your initial stock levels. Import your stock levels together with your product and material items (see steps 3-4 above).
  • Import from Shopify or WooCommerce - when you connect Shopify or WooCommerce to Katana, you can choose to import all your product stock levels into Katana. Materials are typically not tracked in Shopify or WooCommerce, so you would need to enter material stock using one of the other two options.

9. Start selling, making and buying

All your data is now set up! It's time to start selling your products, creating production plans, distributing tasks, managing raw material requirements and purchasing.

Depending on whether you are making your products to order, making to stock or using a mixed approach, the way you approach workflows in Katana can be different. Read more about using Katana for:

  • Make to order workflows
  • Make to stock workflows

Here are some additional articles we suggest reading to get the most from Katana:

  • Basics of Inventory Management
  • Using the Schedule
  • Understanding order priorities
  • Managing production deadlines
  • Understanding the Average Cost


Congratulations!

Your account is now all set up and you are ready to start running a smart manufacturing. :)

Should you require any additional help, please click on underlined terms or i-icons inside the software or access the knowledge base through the "Knowledge Base" tab at the right-hand side of the screen at any time or here.

Also, we are here to help. The fastest way to reach us is via the chat widget at the bottom right-hand corner of the screen.

You can also contact us by sending a message to support@katanamrp.com.