Manufacturing Resource Planning
We are pleased to present an exclusive interview with cloud inventory expert Shawn Coultice, Head of Channel Partnerships at Katana MRP, a leading manufacturing resource planning (MRP) software company. As a pioneer in cloud-based MRP solutions for small and midsize manufacturers, Katana helps optimize inventory management, production planning, and order fulfillment across multiple sales channels.
In this interview, Shawn provides unique insights into Katana's solutions, the rise of hybrid manufacturing models, and best practices for manufacturers looking to streamline operations. With over 15 years of experience driving growth through partnerships in the manufacturing technology space, Shawn is an expert voice on digital transformation in manufacturing.
He shares how Katana enables manufacturers to seamlessly manage B2B, B2C, wholesale, retail, and D2C sales channels from a unified platform. We discuss real-world examples of manufacturers that have leveraged Katana to enhance efficiency, profitability, and customer satisfaction.
This post contains affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission at no additional cost to you.
(No Credit Card Required)
Shawn also outlines the critical steps in implementing a successful hybrid manufacturing model, from assessing current processes to selecting the right solutions and training employees. He explains how Katana provides the visibility, control, and data manufacturers need to optimize hybrid operations.
This exclusive interview offers an invaluable perspective on the future of manufacturing and how technology solutions like Katana support the rise of data-driven, customer-centric, and flexible hybrid manufacturing models.
The Rise of Hybrid Manufacturing, Distribution, and Retail Models
The rise of hybrid manufacturing models can be attributed to technology integration in various aspects of the manufacturing process. As Shawn mentioned, “70% of our customers do a mix of all those different order fulfillment types. And that's really what technology has enabled them to do.” This integration has allowed manufacturers to automate shop floor processes, improve machine communication, and make data-driven decisions, increasing efficiency and productivity.
Supporting the Rise of Hybrid Manufacturing Business Models
In today's rapidly evolving business landscape, hybrid manufacturing business models are becoming increasingly popular. These models combine manufacturing, distribution, and retail to create a more efficient and profitable operation. One solution that has supported these hybrid models is Katana MRP, an inventory management and manufacturing solution designed for small to medium-sized businesses.
Katana MRP is a cloud-based platform that integrates with popular e-commerce channels, such as Shopify, WooCommerce, and Amazon, as well as accounting solutions like QuickBooks Online and Xero. This integration allows businesses to consolidate demand from multiple sales channels, helping them identify what they need to produce and purchase to fulfill orders. Additionally, Katana MRP provides real-time visibility into inventory and manufacturing processes, enabling businesses to make better decisions based on accurate costing and sales data.
One of the critical advantages of Katana MRP is its ease of use and quick implementation time, with an average implementation time of around 30 days. The platform also offers an open API, allowing businesses to connect with the latest technology and quickly adopt new solutions. This agility enables small businesses to compete with larger companies by leveling the playing field with technology.
Katana MRP's unique features, such as its scheduling system and shop floor control application, give businesses better control over their operations and improved visibility into their facilities. The platform's real-time nature allows for better inventory management, production planning, and more accurate financial reporting and costing.
Katana MRP is a powerful solution that supports the rise of hybrid manufacturing business models by providing businesses with the tools they need to manage their inventory, manufacturing processes, and financials more efficiently. By integrating with popular e-commerce and accounting platforms, Katana MRP enables businesses to streamline their operations, make better decisions based on real-time data, and ultimately become more competitive in the market.
Examples of Successful Manufacturers Who Have Implemented Hybrid Models
Several manufacturers have successfully implemented hybrid manufacturing models, significantly improving their operations. Some examples include:
- Kron Technologies: A high-speed camera manufacturer that faced challenges in managing inventory and production processes due to the complexity of their products. Implementing Katana MRP could streamline inventory management and production planning, improving efficiency, reducing lead times, and increasing customer satisfaction.
- GJ Motorsports: A company that designs and manufactures aftermarket automotive parts, specializing in off-road and performance vehicles. They faced challenges in managing inventory, production planning, and order fulfillment due to the complexity of their product offerings and the need to manage multiple sales channels. By implementing Katana MRP, they could consolidate sales channels, gain better visibility into inventory and production processes, and improve efficiency and lead times.
In conclusion, hybrid manufacturing models have proven beneficial for manufacturers in various industries. Manufacturers can optimize their operations by leveraging technology and solutions like Katana, improving efficiency, profitability, and customer satisfaction.
Challenges Of Hybrid Manufacturing Business Models
When implementing hybrid manufacturing models, manufacturers may face several challenges. High initial investment costs are often required for new equipment and infrastructure. Integrating new technologies with existing systems and processes can be complex, and employee resistance to change may hinder successful implementation. Data security and privacy is crucial as hybrid manufacturing models often involve digital technologies. Additionally, keeping up with rapidly evolving technology is necessary to maintain a competitive edge and adapt hybrid manufacturing models accordingly.
Related article: Hybrid Commerce: The Future of E-Commerce - See how hybrid commerce models can help you offer more products and services to your customers.
To overcome these challenges, manufacturers can develop a clear business case for hybrid manufacturing, highlighting potential benefits and return on investment. They should also select solutions that are compatible with existing systems and can be easily integrated. Involving employees in decision-making and providing adequate training and support can help ease the transition to hybrid manufacturing. Implementing robust data security measures and policies is essential for protecting sensitive information. Lastly, staying informed about industry trends and advancements in technology will help manufacturers stay ahead of the curve and maintain a competitive edge.
(No Credit Card Required)
Technology Enabling Hybrid Manufacturing Models
Technology has played a significant role in enabling hybrid manufacturing models, allowing manufacturers to leverage a mix of different order fulfillment types, such as B2B, wholesale, and D2C. Shawn mentioned, “A majority of our customers actually do a mix of B2B, B2C, wholesale, retail, and even D2C. And that's really what technology has enabled them to do. So if they want to sell on Amazon, Shopify, Walmart, their own website, and also do some wholesale bulk orders, technology like Katana has really enabled them to adapt and shift their business model.”
Related article: Adopting Cloud Technology to Enable Manufacturing Agility - Learn how cloud technology can help you scale your operations and meet changing customer demands.
By adopting digital technologies and automating shop floor processes, manufacturers can improve efficiency and productivity, reduce human errors, enhance real-time visibility and data accuracy, streamline communication and collaboration, and enable faster decision-making and problem-solving. This allows manufacturers to manage their operations better, make more informed decisions, and drive business growth and success.
Most Katana customers leverage a mix of B2B, wholesale, and D2C order fulfillment types enabled by technology. This hybrid approach allows manufacturers to cater to different customer segments and sales channels, providing flexibility and adaptability in their business models.
Katana: A Critical Solution For Hybrid Models
Overview of Katana and its features
We feel that Hybrid manufacturing takes the best of both additive and subtractive worlds to enable mass customization and on-demand production. This view is shared by Science Direct.
Katana MRP is a software solution that is crucial in supporting hybrid manufacturing models. Shawn mentioned in the interview that “Katana enables businesses with multiple sales channels to bring all demand into one solution.” It helps businesses manage and have visibility around their inventory and manufacturing processes, allowing them to understand their costs and fulfill orders efficiently.
Best Practices For Implementing And Managing Hybrid Manufacturing Business Models
Key steps involved in implementing a hybrid manufacturing business model
When implementing a hybrid manufacturing business model, manufacturers should first assess their current processes and identify areas for improvement. Next, they should research and select appropriate technology solutions that align with their needs. Developing a phased implementation plan and providing adequate employee training and support will also be crucial for successful adoption. Finally, manufacturers should continuously monitor and optimize their automated systems to ensure they are getting the most out of their investments.
Best practices for managing hybrid manufacturing business models
To manage hybrid manufacturing business models effectively, manufacturers should leverage real-time data from software solutions like Katana to make informed decisions about inventory management, production planning, and order fulfillment. They should also use the software's scheduling system to prioritize tasks and ensure employees work on the most important jobs at the right time.
As Shawn explains, “With Katana, we've digitized that process. So you can drag and drop your sales orders, you can drag and drop your manufacturing orders, and that's going to not only reprioritize them on that screen, it's going to reprioritize the tasks that the employees see on their shop floor application, as well as the inventory that's being allocated to those jobs.” By improving communication and utilizing the shop floor control application, manufacturers can provide employees with all the information they need to complete their tasks efficiently and effectively. Lastly, manufacturers should analyze performance using reporting tools and analytics to gain insights into their automated processes' performance, identify improvement areas, and make data-driven decisions.
(No Credit Card Required)
The rise of hybrid manufacturing models represents an important evolution in the manufacturing industry. By combining additive and subtractive processes, manufacturers can achieve greater efficiency, flexibility, and profitability. However, implementing these models requires overcoming challenges like high costs and integration complexities.
We believe that the future of manufacturing will be a hybrid model that combines the customization and flexibility of additive techniques with the speed and precision of subtractive ones. A view supported by AMFG.
Solutions like Katana are critical in supporting and optimizing hybrid manufacturing operations. Katana gives manufacturers real-time visibility into inventory, production planning, and costs, enabling data-driven decision-making. Key features like shop floor control, open API, and robust integrations allow Katana to streamline complex hybrid manufacturing workflows.
As this article demonstrates, manufacturers who have embraced hybrid models and leveraged solutions like Katana have seen tremendous improvements in their business. To stay competitive in a rapidly evolving landscape, it is imperative for manufacturers to adapt and adopt the latest technological advancements. By exploring the benefits of hybrid manufacturing and solutions like Katana, manufacturers can optimize processes, reduce costs, improve quality, and deliver greater value to customers. The future success of the manufacturing industry will depend on the willingness of manufacturers to transform their operations using modern tools and approaches. Sign up for a Free trial of Katana MRP today. (No Credit Card Required)
Watch our Software Spotlight podcast featuring Katana MRP: In this episode, Shawn Coultice of cloud inventory management leader Katana MRP explains how the solution helps online sellers efficiently manage multi-channel order fulfillment, manufacturing, purchasing, and financials - enabling small businesses to save time, reduce costs and scale using enterprise-level technology.