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Getting Familiar with Katana
Getting Familiar with Katana

Everything you need to know when you first begin your Katana journey

Dayvid Lorbiecke avatar
Written by Dayvid Lorbiecke
Updated over a week ago

Katana helps businesses automate their production and inventory management while being versatile enough to perform tasks from many business angles.

To get an idea of which approach works best for your business, we’ve made a list of things for you to try out in Katana:

  • Play around with the demo data
    Go ahead and edit products, recipes/BOMs, production operations, etc. Create or edit sales orders and see how you can run make-to-order or make-to-stock flows straight from the Sell screen. You can also follow an onboarding tour that works excellent for newly created accounts. Go wild and see what you can discover using the demo data.

  • Add your own data to Katana to gain an idea of how to map out your business
    Try adding some products, materials, product recipes and production operations, a sales order, and a manufacturing order. Follow the guided tour, which goes through adding products and running make-to-stock and make-to-order workflows. Give it a try! 🥁

Tip: If you want to remove the demo data, simply click the trash icon in the upper right corner of Katana.

  • Import or upload your real data
    If you are running a webshop through something such as Shopify or WooCommerce, use one of our integrations to get your products and stock levels into Katana in no time. If you have your data somewhere else, just use our spreadsheet templates to upload all of your products, materials, and BOMs/Product Recipes into Katana. Now you’re all set!

Looking for tutorial videos?

We have an extensive collection of videos covering many aspects of Katana. Videos range from short 5-minute walkthroughs to longer all-encompassing demo videos. Take a look:

If you are looking for specifics, find more videos about certain features: Shopify integration, WooCommerce integration, QuickBooks Online integration, Xero integration, Product Recipes, default suppliers, and more.
We’ve got you covered!

The “Getting Started” checklist

We've got you covered if you prefer to learn new systems via a written-out checklist. Remember, since Katana is built to handle several different manufacturing setups, you may need to adjust the order of steps or disregard some steps entirely, depending on your process.

Regardless of your setup, your starting point should be the same, as it’s about the products you sell.

Steps checklist

Step 1 - Add products ✔️

Katana offers 3 different methods to add products to your account:

  • Create products manually – usually the best option if you have a limited number of products or no pre-existing product list

  • Import via spreadsheet – head to Settings screen > Data import where you’ll find a downloadable template that you can use to upload your products

  • Import via integration – if you have a Shopify or WooCommerce account, you can use our native one-click integration to add products. You can also add products from Etsy, HubSpot, Squarespace, or Wix using a third-party integration via Integromat

Step 2 - Add materials ✔️

Materials are items (raw materials, ingredients, components, and parts) used for making your products and subassemblies. Materials aren’t sold directly to customers.

Tip: If you do plan to sell some of your materials, add them as products instead of materials.

There are two ways to go about this:

  • Create manually – this is the best option if you have only a few materials

  • Import from a spreadsheet - go to Settings screen > Data import to use our provided templates to move your materials (and their stock levels) into Katana

Step 3 - Create or import Product Recipes / Bill-of-materials (BOMs) ✔️

BOMs make it possible to calculate the material cost for your products and record the material inventory movements when products are made.

With our BOMs you can also run subassemblies. Subassemblies are when a manufactured product is also used as an ingredient for making another product.
Read more here.

There are three ways to begin adding a BOM:

  • Create manually - when creating BOMs manually, you can also quick-add new materials to save yourself from adding materials separately

  • Import from a spreadsheet – go to Settings > Data import and use our template to import

  • Copy from another product - if you have products that use similar materials, copy the recipe and then make the necessary edits afterward

Step 4 - Add Production Operations ✔️

Production Operations (aka routing) are the operations required to make a product (cutting, assembly, quality control, packaging, etc.).

By defining production operations, you can have:

  • Additional control of manufacturing process tracking

  • Operational task lists for employees

  • Estimates for production completion dates

  • The operational costs of products

There are two ways to go about adding production operations:

  • Create manually - inside Katana

  • Import from a spreadsheet - go to Settings screen > Data import > Add new product operations to the template

  • Copy from another product - if you have products that use similar operations, copy the process and then make the necessary edits afterward

Use our Shop Floor App to automate the information flow on the production floor and digitize your process.

Tip: Once you’ve finished, have a look at your Products sheet inside the Items view. Here you’ll see all the product variants, default sales prices, cost, profit, production times, and more of your products. Take advantage of filtering and sorting to see optimize what you see.💡

Step 5 - Start selling, making, and buying ✔️

You’re now on to the most critical and exciting step! It's time to start doing your business by selling products, creating production plans, distributing tasks, managing raw material requirements, and running purchasing. 👌

Your workflows in Katana may differ depending on whether your products are made-to-order, made-to-stock, or both at the same time. Learn more about each workflow:

Step 6 - Invite your team ✔️

Keep your whole team synced together and invite the team members you need so you have a single reference point for what’s going on in the business.
Here’s how to begin adding your team.

Step 7 - Using Xero or QuickBooks Online? ✔️

If you’re managing accounting through either Xero or QuickBooks Online you’re in luck as we’ve got an integration for both. Take a look at QuickBooks Online and Xero.

Step 8 (the last step) - Before going live, we recommend entering your initial stock levels ✔️

If you already have an operating business, you likely have an existing product and material stock in the workshop or warehouse. Add your stock levels to ensure a smooth transition into implementing Katana.

You can enter your initial stock levels to Katana through three methods:

  • 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 enables importing your initial stock levels in bulk. You can import your stock levels with your product and material items (see steps 1 and 2 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


Your account is now set up, and you are ready to start running a smart manufacturing process.

If you need any additional help, please click on the tooltips inside Katana or take a look through the Knowledge Base by clicking the question-mark icon in the header menu and choosing Knowledge base or by going directly to the Knowledge Base.

Our support staff is also here to help if you need any assistance and 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 [email protected].

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