Partner Spotlight: Streamlined Shipping with Shiptheory and Katana


Shiptheory was built off the back of partnerships. Our connections are driven by a mutual desire to address retailer pain points and help them forge a more effective operation.

This month, we're kicking off our new Partner Spotlight series with a focus on Katana, whose ERP software is a rapidly growing favourite for businesses of all sizes. After being requested by a Shiptheory customer, the two teams have worked closely to ensure our software works seamlessly together, and customers are already reaping the benefits.

Read on to learn a little bit more about Katana and their partnership with us here at Shiptheory, as well as some quotes from Simon Bedding of Sylmasta - the first company to use our software together - on how the integration is transforming their operations.

Katana Information and Background

We're starting with an introduction into what Katana do and where they come from. We spoke to Gristel Tali, Chief Product Officer, and Mark Cohen, Head of Technology Partnerships, to gain some insight into the Katana story and how they've found working with Shiptheory so far.

Can you give us a little background on Katana as a company, and the journey to where you are today?

Gristel: "Founded in 2017, Katana is a business software solution that gives manufacturers a live look at their business, uniting all the processes and tools they use with intuitive and easy-to-use ERP software.

We're on a mission to build software manufacturers love as much as the products they make, and Katana was built to cater to the shifting needs of modern manufacturers. We're witnessing a renaissance period in small manufacturing across the world. The "Made in China" era is ending, and manufacturing is moving closer to the consumer.

Modern manufacturing software must cater to the needs of traditional B2B manufacturers and those who use a blend of B2B and D2C. Combining key functionalities in a platform that meets the usability standards of the digital era is how Katana is disrupting the ERP space."

What are the ideal type of retailers Katana likes to work with?

Gristel: "Rising ingredient costs, supply chain disruptions, customer focus on delivery deadlines, and demand for tailor-made products mean D2C manufacturers need more from their software than inventory management for finished products. Katana’s end-to-end manufacturing ERP supports MTO and MTS production workflows and a mix of in-house and outsourced manufacturing to cater to today’s agile manufacturer."

What’s unique about Katana that sets you apart from your competitors?

Gristel: "Most manufacturing software falls short of today's usability standards and does not integrate well with business essentials like e-commerce stores, accounting platforms, and shipping operators. As a result, the ERP space is known for poor usability and low customer service ratings. Katana's integration-led approach gives manufacturers an ecosystem of tools and features instead of the traditionally siloed, monolithic enterprise solution.

By bringing manufacturing software into the digital era and matching the standards of consumer technology and other SaaS verticals, Katana is already named an industry leader in the manufacturing software space by Gartner and is consistently top-ranked in support and ease of use by customers."

How do you decide on new partners to work with?

Mark: "Similar value sets, customer-centric mind-set, ICP fit, and a willingness to continually reciprocate on the partnership."

What’s it been like working in conjunction with the Shiptheory team so far?

Mark: "Unbelievable! The team is incredibly responsive, always looking to improve our joint ability to service mutual customers, and willingness to go that extra mile to building our partnership."

What are the goals for Katana over the next few years?

Gristel: "We plan to continue scaling our teams to build on our platform approach, connecting with even more top-tier business solutions manufacturers need, and improving our open API.

Our plans for expansion also translate to more hiring in more client support as our customer base grows, building features that cater to larger businesses as we continue to move upmarket, and maintain Katana’s position as an industry leader in ease of use by making our software as intuitive as possible through modern UI/UX."

What’s your one line pitch to retailers using Shiptheory on why they should use Katana?

Gristel: "The future of manufacturing is connective and intuitive software, and Katana makes managing your business from sales to shipping easy."

Sylmasta: Katana and Shiptheory Working in Harmony

Sylmasta is a UK-based manufacturer of adhesive repair products, primarily for pipe repairs, fixing leaks or damage to pipes. They also produce some general maintenance adhesives, which repair metalwork and damaged machinery.

Selling products via both B2B and D2C, they have customers all over the world who they reach via both their website and product distribution. With in-house manufacturing built on lean manufacturing principles, they’re a well-run operation that was running into challenges that any growing business does.

Simon Bedding, Managing Director of Sylmasta, talks about how switching to an operation involving Katana and Shiptheory has been a success for them:

'I like Katana because most of the unnecessary stuff is stripped out. It’s very, very
simple. You’ve got a traffic light system for stock control which is really nice. It’s
cloud-based, which is helpful. And it integrates with QuickBooks Online. So it’s all
really seamless.'

Once orders are prepared for sending, they need to be collected and delivered by someone, and this is where Shiptheory comes in. Simon contacted Shiptheory requesting an integration with Katana, setting the wheels for the partnership in motion.

"I contacted Shiptheory and asked them to create an integration with Katana, and I think after that they contacted Katana and did it! And now that’s why there’s a Shiptheory integration available in Katana. I came across Shiptheory and it was easy and quite simple, we tested it and it worked really nicely, and the fact that they integrate with so many different products just adds to the appeal.

As I’ve used it more, I’ve got used to using the ‘rules’ settings. You can set rules for which shipping company you use at which time of day – you might want to use your cheapest shipper up until two o’clock in the afternoon because they collect early. But then if you want to do late orders, you can switch to a more expensive company which does this. It’s just really neat that they have the features for this.

Get started with Shiptheory and Katana today!

Stay tuned for the next instalment in our Partner Spotlight series.  If you like the look of Shiptheory and Katana and think they could work in harmony for you, check out how to integrate with Katana on the Shiptheory website or get started for free!

Sam Paternoster

Marketing Communications Executive at Shiptheory