How Kron Technologies streamlines sales with Katana and WooCommerce
Kron Technologies manufacture amazing high-speed imaging cameras using Katana, and sell them seamlessly with our native WooCommerce integration. Learn more in this case study.
We use Katana as a one-stop-shop for operations in manufacturing, so we're utilizing all the features Katana offers. It has been a great experience, and Katana's team successfully guided us through the implementation and integration of all our products.
Tabatha Hughes, Finance and IT Manager at Kron Technologies
Since implementing Katana, Kron Technologies have linked up with WooCommerce for successful sales order fulfilment with next-day shipping
They have streamlined all shop floor operations with Katana Shop Floor App
And finally, improved communication and alignment between all team members
About Kron Technologies
Kron Technologies is a Canadian high-speed imaging system design and manufacturing company located in the heart of the Greater Vancouver Area (British Columbia). Kron Tech aims to make high-speed imaging accessible to everyone. Their target customers are all over the map – from cinematography and sports to research and industrial – anything one might want to have slowed down beyond the human eye’s capability – and see what is happening during a very energetic event.
What sets Kron Technologies apart is that we’re really good at having the cameras available at all times – there are around 1-2 day delays between an order being placed and shipped. We have both B2B and B2C customers. Our customers buy directly from us, and we ship worldwide the next day.
Around 22 people are working in the company, and we talked with Tabatha Hughes, who’s been responsible for leading the Katana implementation project.
The challenge they faced
Before Katana, Kron Technologies used spreadsheets to manage their inventory and production; however, at some point, it became unsustainable and required a new solution. As an electronics manufacturer, following raw materials inventory and component delivery times was crucial, especially after the pandemic put stress on supply chains.
Kron Technologies knew they needed an ERP system before covid, but there was no real push for it, and the decision was delayed. However, the pandemic surfaced various issues in the supply chain, shortage of components, delivery times that served as a final push for getting visibility in the stock, demand, and manufacturing processes.
We were able to get by with Excel spreadsheets for the longest time, but then Covid hit, and it became hard to keep an eye on the components. We have a couple of single-source components that we use for cameras so following the lead times and matching those with demand and order completion rates became difficult.
The solution they found
Tabatha Hughes was in charge of the ERP selection and implementation project, and she did look into quite a few solutions, but many of them either did not fit their workflows or were clunky to use.
It was hard to find a solution that understands that we’re a new company, we’re a startup and do not have a lot of people, but we also do hardware. There are multiple big-name software companies out there, but we’re just 20 people, and only five people use Katana every day. So getting something massive, like Netsuite, is not what we needed. Katana had the right look and feel for us.
Currently, Kron Technologies use Katana for order management, inventory visibility, and production, and there are five people who use Katana on a daily basis:
Operations Manager who oversees the parts, logistics, and quality control of the products
Purchasing Manager who’s responsible for maintaining contact with suppliers, and planning and buying camera components
Logistics Coordinator who manages the warehouse, deliveries, shipping, and receiving of cameras and parts
Two production technologists who work on the shop floor to assemble, test, calibrate, and debug the cameras, and assist customers with any support questions
Managing sales orders with our WooCommerce integration
Kron Technologies are using the WooCommerce platform for online sales and have it integrated with Katana. As soon as a customer makes an order in WooCommerce, the sales associate makes sure the order has all the necessary information and an approved payment from the buyer before releasing it to Katana.
Most e-commerce platforms are built for selling high-volume, relatively low-price products, like $12 yoga pants. Whereas we are selling high value items at 50-80 units per month, so we need documentation and various other prerequisites for the sale, even if it’s online. So we need to ask for multiple custom things – what the camera will be used for, and who will be the end-user; we have to have those questions answered to build the custom products. This is why WooCommerce has been the optimal solution, and connecting it to Katana was pretty flawless.
They had recently switched to WooCommerce before implementing Katana from another e-commerce platform and are now planning to implement Pipedrive to manage B2B (verbal) orders, which is also possible via Zapier or an Integromat connection.
Order fulfilment with Katana
Once an order is placed in their WooCommerce store, it shows up in Katana as a sales order. After that, when the sales associate has made sure that the order has all the necessary information, such as tax IDs, documentation, and payment, they create a manufacturing order in Katana and trigger the production workflow.
People in the operations team pick all necessary items for the camera and get them to the right production bins. Then they make another order which is for the camera assembly itself. We are make-to-order, so when this manufacturing order is created, the finished product shows up as “not available” and alerts our production technologists – they get assigned tasks for assembly, testing, and calibration.
The production usually takes 1-2 business days, and once the order is completed, the finished camera will show up as available and ready for shipping. The logistics manager then takes care of a waybill and shipping documentation and gets the carrier partner to pick up the order. Once it’s delivered to the customer, it gets marked as delivered in Katana as well.
Real-time task management with the Katana Shop Floor App
Kron Technologies also use the Katana Shop Shop Floor App to assist in their production, task management, and preparation for shipping. For production, they use the Shop Floor App for two different types of order processing – based on sales orders and for subassemblies.
We use the shop floor app in a couple of different places – we use it in production to manage the tasks once the sales assistant has created the manufacturing order for the camera. And we also use it for subassemblies that we do in batches. For example, we’ll have tasks assigned to our production technicians to build 10 camera fronts, including a sensor and a couple of other components.
Kron Technologies have developed another workflow with the Katana Shop Floor App – a pre-shipping check for the ready orders. Once the camera assembly is done, they collect the rest of the items for shipping (e.g. cables), and a new operation is added to the manufacturing order called “Check” that enables them to check whether all items, including for example the correct plug for the order, is selected.
Multicurrency support for sales and purchasing
A software that lacked multicurrency support would be a dealbreaker for Kron Technologies. As a Canadian company, they do their stock and expenses in Canadian dollars while buying in USD and selling in various currencies worldwide.
With Katana, they can effortlessly buy and sell products in any currency with daily rate conversion.
Communication between teams
Communication between the growing team members has become more streamlined as well – by adding a layer of visibility throughout the whole product lifecycle and organization.
When everything was in an Excel spreadsheet, it was hard to see how many orders were truly open in the moment, and how many were completed and delivered. Another aspect was more team members coming on board – and they were also pushing for having a system in place that would help us reduce errors and improve transparency.
Synchronizing spreadsheets and manual data entry between sales and operations teams are a thing of the past. All orders get verified and aligned automatically.
Ensuring next-day shipping and having a complete overview of the manufacturing process
Even though the implementation of Katana has been a relatively recent project, Kron Technologies has already experienced significant improvements across the whole organization.
We go to the sales page of Katana, and we see what everybody is doing at this exact time. We immediately know which customers are in the pipeline. Before, we had a spreadsheet, scrolled all the way to the bottom, and then that wasn’t even the whole story because sometimes we still had customers in the middle of the spreadsheet that hadn’t received their order yet.
As a high-value lower-volume product manufacturer that makes highly customized products, it is important to have a clear overview of the inventory and sales demand. There are endless factors influencing the variants of the cameras – colors, capacity in GB, different sensors, lenses, etc. It can get expensive to carry all this stock, so having a solution that gives clear visibility over what is available, what is running low, and what needs to be replenished is essential to ensure the next-day shipping for the client.
We like to use Katana as a one-stop-shop for operations in manufacturing, so we’re really utilizing all features Katana offers. It has been a great experience. The staff is also excellent — anytime I have a question, I use the chat or Knowledge base, and the team has been an immense help during the implementation and integration of all our products.
Electronics manufacturers use Katana to align their sales and production with one easy-to-use platform. Katana keeps track of demand to automatically adjust your production schedule according to resources and deadlines. Learn more about Katana’s features and how they help manufacturers get a live look at their business.