At a time when manufacturing businesses need to rely on efficiency more than ever before, there are some basic requirements that both up-and-coming and established ventures find themselves needing. One such condition is a basic level of awareness and improved integration of enterprise resource planning, or ERP.
As with all processes concerned, this aspect of business management and development is often covered by a software component, allowing companies to consistently monitor and evaluate what their production needs are. However, current changes including disrupted supply chains, scarcity of resources and increased interest rates that have made capital tougher to come by, mean that the software element should be closer to the core of how you manage your business.
This is where a product like Katana Technologies’ ERP system comes in. We’ve spent some time with the software in order to get a sense of what a modern software solution can provide in this day and age, and we’ve come up with several points that highlight what use of such software can mean for your manufacturing venture, while also getting a sense of the product itself.
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The Main Benefits of ERP Software
A software solution that truly works for your business can provide enhanced awareness of your different layers of inventory, allowing you to improve the planning of ongoing processes. Optimization and planning can help you be in control of what your product output is, and remain on top of your raw materials inventory, allowing other aspects of your business to run smoothly.
This software solution actually increases the visibility of layers of production that are normally tough to access, or are more of an afterthought, like maintenance, repair and operations—usually referred to as MRO. Katana’s system offers a bird’s eye view of resources and assets that can improve decision making for businesses struggling with cost cutting or downtimes.
These costs are layered into the user interface, allowing for easy clickthrough. More awareness of what the impact of running your business on your accounting and inventory, means better decision-making, which is the play for an integrated enterprise resource planning system anyway, but the company’s promise is that more transparency between processes will lead to more efficient work and improved results.
Key Features for the Manufacturing Business
Katana’s software is unlocked in the Advanced version of the software (which the company itself recommends as the go-to option for a trial) in order to get a better sense of the variety of features that you can access.
Its instantly familiar design features color coding for immediate monitoring of key aspects of your business—those key aspects include costs, deadlines and status columns for each row of items. These large categories of aspects break down the major aspects of a manufacturing business: Sell, Make, Buy, Stock, Items and Contacts.
The rows within these tabs can be prioritized manually to fit the specifics of your business and your production goals, making organizing sales, production and maintenance easier. The solution also offers the functionality of easy pivots from your CRM to your inventory management aspects.
As a result, you can manage business-to-business and commerce sales orders in an omnichannel format. By now you’ll have noticed that Katana’s main play is this one-stop shop for all of a manufacturing business’ various ongoing processes and trackable components.
Integration and What it Provides to the Manufacturing Space
Key to a fully-formed and mature manufacturing process is the level of ease of use and visibility its processes have, allowing for multiple layers of oversight. These are important to keeping track of the various elements of your business, but also in their management.
But what we’ve found is that these integrations don’t just provide extra functions for you to bring to the fold, but enhance the ease-of-use for the solution. That ease-of-use is a marked improvement over what would be a regular spreadsheet in a generic accounting program, but it is also a step up in the overall layout of your business.
A vendor should be able to keep track of what is sold, when, have access to payment processing, stock tracking and order fulfilment timelines at the least. Factor in the needs of a manufacturing company that should also keep track of its production metrics, health of its equipment, and associated costs, you’ll have an image of the degree of complexity that Katana’s software needs to offer to make good on its promises.
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Extras that Complete the Picture
Integration is key, as we’ve pointed out, but there are levels of availability to all associated products. Sometimes, variables such as where your business is located or in-place contracts with service providers will determine a particular constraint, locking you into a position where built-in integrations simply will not work.
Because of that, Katana’s software actually offers an open application programming (API for short) solution. That means that your workflows can be customised in the program, to facilitate the melding of your data feed with apps that aren’t part of the standard integration set. Making sure that you have a back-up available for these situation is a significant boon, and it also shows a level of continued development that the product is undergoing, to ensure compatibility.
Automated data transfers between your company and the service provider of your choice is what truly makes a software like this feel universally useful, allowing for a tailored fit. That level of flexibility also showcases the developer’s confidence in the product, which is also a significant green flag.