With this 7-step guide, you'll find the overview of a standard Make-to-Stock workflow in Katana – building the flow between the Sell, Make, Buy, and Stock screens.

Note: If you plan to make all your products to order, we suggest reading this article. Refer to this article if you use a mixed Make-to-Stock and Make-to-Order approach.

Companies that keep a certain number of products in stock to ensure faster delivery and increase production efficiency use a Make-to-Stock (MTS) approach. Products will typically be made in bulk to meet future sales needs.

Step 1 – Schedule Your Production ✔️

A Make-to-Stock (MTO) flow typically begins by making products based on the required demand. In Katana, the optimal stock levels for products can be managed using Reorder Points.

Note: It isn't possible to create sales forecasts in Katana, but Reorder points can help fill this gap. See how to set Reorder points and how to calculate appropriate Reorder points.

If you are making to stock, we suggest using the value in the Missing/Excess column that you can find in the Stock screen to determine the best number of products to make. The Missing/Excess column is calculated based on all open Sales Orders, Manufacturing Orders, and Reorder Points for each product. To create a Manufacturing Order (MO) for the missing quantity of a product, use the + Make button on the product's row.

Read more about using the Stock screen.

You can also MTS by clicking on the global "+" sign and selecting + Manufacturing order. Doing this will open a new MO card where you can choose a product and the quantity to make.

All Manufacturing orders can be found under the Schedule tab from the Make screen. This is the production schedule for your product-making business. If you want to change the priority of an MO, drag and drop the order to where you want it.

Read more about using the Schedule.

MTS Manufacturing orders won't be linked to any Sales orders. Sales orders (that aren't Make-to-Order) reserve products based on Sales order priorities.

Read more about using the Sell screen.

Step 2 – Track Material Requirements ✔️

To manage your material requirements, create a Product recipe / BOM for each Product. When you've done this, you can track the Ingredients availability of products for sales and Manufacturing orders.

Go to the Make screen and click on a MO in the Schedule tab to see a list of ingredients and their availability. You can also go to the Sell screen and open a Sales order (SO) where the Ingredients column displays Not available. Inside the SO card, click on "Not available" under the Ingredients column to see a list of materials missing for making the product.

Note: When companies make products to order, they typically keep a certain amount of raw materials in stock to satisfy forecasted production needs. We suggest using Reorder points for materials in Katana to ensure an optimal stock level for materials at all times. Learn how to set Reorder points and how to calculate appropriate Reorder points.

Step 3 – Purchase Missing Materials ✔️

If the Ingredient availability for any materials is Not available, you will need to create a Purchase order (PO) to buy the missing ingredients.

Click on a MO to see a list of required ingredients based on the Product recipe / BOM. When materials are missing, you can create a new PO.

There are multiple ways to create a PO, such as:

  • Opening a MO and clicking + Buy on the ingredient row

  • Clicking the global "+" sign and selecting + Purchase order

  • Going to the Sell screen, opening a SO with Not available ingredients, clicking on Not available under the Ingredients column, and choosing + Buy

  • Going to the Stock screen, selecting the Materials table, and clicking + Buy

When creating a PO from the Stock screen, take a look at the material's Missing/Excess column. The number here is calculated based on all open Sales orders, Manufacturing orders, Purchase orders, and Reorder points for each material so you can create a PO based on the material's "missing" number.

Learn more about using the Stock screen.

Remember, materials expected from Purchase orders are not permanently linked to any SO or MO. Material availability for orders always depends on priorities.

Once a PO is created, it will be added to the Buy screen, where you can manage the Delivery status of all Purchase orders.

Since a PO can't be sent directly from Katana to the supplier, you can create a PDF by clicking on the printer 🖨️ icon at the top right corner of the PO.

Step 4 – Receive Materials ✔️

When materials for a PO arrive at your warehouse, mark the Delivery status to Receive all (or Receive some if some materials are missing), and the materials will be added to your stock. The material availability status for a SO in the Sell screen or a MO in the Make screen will change to In stock when all the necessary ingredients are in stock.

Step 5 – Make the Product ✔️

With Katana, you can manage production activities either at the MO level or at a more detailed Production Operations level.

If you manage your production at the MO level, the team members who make products can use the Schedule for their production plan by starting at the top MO and working down the list. They can update the Production status to Work in progress once they begin making the product and mark it Done when finished.

If you want to manage your team member's tasks or workstations at a more detailed step-by-step level, you can open Tasks tab from the Make screen. To make use of the Tasks list, you'll first need to define the Production operations for your products. Production Operations are specific steps that need to be completed to make a product (cutting, assembly, packaging, etc.).

You can assign each operation to a Resource (e.g., employee, workstation), allowing the Open table in the Task tab to be used as a detailed to-do list for each resource. You should notice that Production Operations related to Manufacturing Orders are grouped by resource.

When the last Production operation for a product is completed, the Production status on a MO will automatically change to Done and products added to your stock. These items won't be linked to any specific SO and can be for any SO that requires the product.

Read more about managing the production process, production operation statuses, and managing tasks for Resources.

Step 6 – Sales Order ✔️

Sales orders are added to Katana via a sync from an e-commerce channel (e.g., Shopify) or created manually. Find your Sales orders by heading to the Sell screen.

You can track the Sales items availability, Ingredients availability, Production status, and Delivery status for each order from the Sell screen.

Using the MTO approach, your Sales items availability will typically show Not available as you won't keep any products in stock for immediate delivery.

Using the MTS approach, your Sales items availability will typically show In stock if you keep the optimal inventory level for immediate delivery.

Sales Orders which aren't Made-to-Order (MTO) will reserve products based on the SO priority level. The availability status of a product will factor in the priority of a SO, which can be adjusted via dragging and dropping the SO. If you have the required amount of product in stock, the Sales items availability for a SO may still display Not available if a higher priority SO also needs the same product. Changing the priority of a SO triggers product availability recalculations.

Note: If the Sales items status for a SO in the Sell screen shows In stock or Expected, you can still click on the + Make to order button in the Production column to create a new MO for that SO. The new MO will then be linked directly to the SO. The priority of this SO and connected MO is then synced between the Sell and Make screens. If you drag-and-drop the SO to change priority, the priority of the linked MO in the Schedule tab will be updated accordingly, and vice versa.

Step 7 – Ship the Product ✔️

When all the required products are available, the Product availability status for a SO in the Sell screen will change to In stock. These Sales orders are then ready to be shipped.

Suppose you want to track packed but not yet shipped products, mark the SO's Delivery status as Packed. When the products are shipped, mark the status as Delivered.

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