How Small Manufacturers are Adapting: A Case Study of Puppy Cake

COVID-19 has had an unprecedented effect and manufacturers have had to adapt to a change in operations, and shifting consumer behaviors. Puppy Cake shared their experience as a small manufacturer.
COVID-19 has altered the operations and markets for manufacturers. Read one business' experience of adapting to the situation.

COVID-19 has had an unprecedented effect and manufacturers have had to adapt to a change in operations, and shifting consumer behaviors. Puppy Cake shared their experience as a small manufacturer.

The experience of COVID-19 has had an unprecedented effect on the world. It’s altered the daily operations for small manufacturers and is changing the way customers engage with brands and products. Changes, that are likely to remain even once this pandemic is over.   

Adapting to this new reality requires many manufacturers to look at how they operate; to streamline and digitalize their processes. 

Puppy Cake shared their experience of operating during the COVID-19 pandemic    

Puppy Cake, founded in 2007, creates healthy and satisfying treats for dogs and a fun experience for their owners.  They’ve operated a modern factory since 2017 and provide wholesales to independent pet retailers.  

Kelly Costello, the CEO of Puppy Cake shared how her business is adapting to the situation.  

An increasingly online market and shifts in demand 

"While we are still allowed to operate by the Pennsylvania State Government, we are seeing the demand from our brick and mortar retailers significantly decline. On the bright side, our online retail partners are doing great and ordering significantly more which is balancing out our demand. 

We are [also] selling more of certain products (SKU) than we expected and are shifting our production to accommodate those increased demands.

"Our biggest challenge has been trying to predict the demand accurately to protect cash flow."  

We don’t know how long we will be down so we must make sure that we have a healthy amount of cash in the back to tap into for the long haul. 

[Katana enables me to] watch my inventory in real-time and better plan out our manufacturing to pursue lean inventories. There is no guesswork. I know exactly what is going on with my inventory and resources with Katana.

[The experience of the pandemic] has made me lean even more conservatively with cash. Thankfully, Puppy Cake has several months of reserve cash to carry us through downtimes. I never imagined a pandemic; however, I will permanently be saving 6 months’ worth of expenses in our bank account moving forward. 


Uncertainty is challenging  

There has been a lot of fear among employees which has significantly increased stress levels. We had plans to hire another production employee, but we have put that on hold.  

As a CEO, I am finding myself playing therapist to many stressed-out employees. This whole situation is terrifying because we just don’t know what is going to happen. I just wish I could wake up 3 months from now and have a full understanding of the situation. Right now, I have no idea what is in store for us as a society." 

"Businesses are adapting at lighting speed.”  

The resiliency of other businesses and how quickly they have adapted has surprised me the most. Chick-fil-a changed their mobile app and added curbside pickup in a matter of days. Small mom and pop shops have begun offering curbside pickup and delivery.  

Another huge surprise was how many homeless pets have been adopted during this crisis. It was the exact opposite of what I expected. I love hearing that the shelters are emptying." 

In addition, to offering delicious treats that only use human grade and natural ingredients – the company also helps to further the wellbeing of canines throughout the US by donating a portion of our profits to animal rescue organizations.  

Katana Smart Manufacturing Software.

Smart Manufacturing for Modern Manufacturers

Katana Smart Manufacturing Software gives manufacturers the tools to not only manage their entire business but to manage their business from any place, at any time, from the cloud.  

The purpose of smart manufacturing is to create an eco-system between all your different tools, and Katana achieves that by easily integrating with your favorite e-commerce platforms and accounting software.  

But, more importantly, Katana will help you manage your production and inventory in real-time, and perform automatic manufacturing costs calculations, which is going to help you scale your business.

You can see for yourself since Katana offers a 14-day free trial, so you can see how easy it is to implement remote work into your business.  You can also arrange a demo and our team will be happy to go through the software with you.

Stay Safe!