How NatureWall doubled sales and boosted efficiency with Katana
Based in the UK, NatureWall manufactures and sells all-natural acoustic paneling across the UK, Europe, and beyond. With Katana, they were able to keep sales, accounting, inventory, and production in sync and get the visibility they needed to scale operations.
When we started using Katana, we were doing £150-250,000 a month while struggling with the system at that time. Now we’ve doubled that number and are working a lot more efficiently. It definitely has to do with the software we’re using. With Katana, everything is just so easy and accessible.
Stephen Newlove, Procurement and Logistics Manager at NatureWall
After switching to Katana, NatureWall doubled sales and improved overall operational efficiency
With Katana, NatureWall can integrate their primary sales channel on Shopify with Xero accounting software for accurate costing and streamlined operations
Use Pro plan features like multicurrency support to simplify accounting and sell and purchase internationally
NatureWall manufactures and sells all-natural acoustic wall paneling across the United Kingdom and European Union. Their products range from Slatwall and 3D paneling to decorative oak planks, all of which are manufactured sustainably in Britain. Using Shopify as their primary sales channel, NatureWall uses Katana and Shopify in tandem to manage operations from sales to production.
90% of our business would be just through Shopify on our website, some of our sales are B2B, which will come through emails and manually entered into Katana. Most of the manufacturing is in-house but some pieces are a simple buy and sell process.
With plans to expand to another fulfillment center outside the UK, NatureWall needed a solution that would allow them to manage multiple warehouses and integrate with their key accounting and e-commerce tools. Their Procurement and Logistics Manager, Stephen Newlove, needed software that would allow him to monitor manufacture orders, ensure on-time fulfillment, and handle purchasing and sales in one platform.
The challenge they faced
To manufacture home and furniture products like wall paneling, NatureWall needed software that would allow them to insert their bill of materials. This includes any subassemblies if needed, and would allow them to track raw materials and finished goods to keep their inventory levels optimal.
While most of NatureWall’s sales are generated through direct-to-consumer channels (like Shopify web stores), they also needed software that would support business-to-business sales. They also needed software that was easy to use, and that would also support floor-level task tracking.
Before Katana and Naturewall I’ve used Sage, SAP, and in-house Excel programs in previous positions. Here they used Linnworks, but we couldn’t get it to meet the business production requirements, which is why Katana was brought in.
The solution they found
Over the course of six months, Katana drastically improved operations as well as NatureWall’s ability to scale revenue. Features like multicurrency support, integrations with key services, ease of use, and the Katana Shop Floor app gave them more control over production and order fulfillment.
I am a massive Excel fan, and I can easily export everything out of Katana and move it around especially when I need historical data. It is the feature I love about Katana and it makes it easier to manipulate data than other software I’ve used like SAGE.
1. Integrations with Shopify and Xero for accounting
Sales orders generated by NatureWall’s Shopify store are automatically sent to Katana for fulfillment, and by integrating with Xero, NatureWall can also keep their accounting data in sync.
With Katana and Xero everything is linked and together in one place. It’s also much easier to put orders on there compared to SAGE, you can type descriptions in and it works really well with an Excel card system and I find it much easier to use – rather than remembering product codes.
2. Ability to monitor shop floor operations with the Katana Shop Floor App
With the help of the Katana Shop Floor App, NatureWall can assign tasks related to manufacturing orders and monitor progress in real time. Depending on the product, NatureWall tracks multiple jobs to complete a single manufacturing order, and the Katana Shop Floor App makes it easy to spot bottlenecks and keep teams in sync.
I find the Shop Floor App very useful; we can set assignments and to make one product requires three to four different jobs and they can just click and go and I can just check the manufacturing order to see what’s in progress.
3. Multicurrency support for international selling and purchasing
Selling and purchasing internationally is the new norm, and despite manufacturing locally, NatureWall purchases subassemblies and raw materials and sells their products outside Britain.
Katana automatically converts currencies to and from the selected base currency, allowing NatureWall to track costs in their base currency while selling and purchasing in the currency preferred by suppliers and customers.
The main thing for us is that we are sending packaged orders abroad. I know it says GBP but then it would be in USD and that has created question marks from suppliers as well (asking for US dollars and then asking in GBP) now it’s much easier with this new feature. We deal with USD, GBP, and EUR.
4. Exporting historical data for easy data manipulation
While Katana integrates with reporting software like Easy Insight to generate custom reports and dashboards, sometimes it’s easiest to export and manipulate data in CSV format. Katana supports bulk importing and exporting for manufacturing orders, giving NatureWall easy access to historical data.
How Katana’s Pro plan features gave Naturewall the visibility they needed to double monthly sales
Katana is a very educated Excel sheet, which is easier to use. If you give someone an Excel sheet with all the data that Katana has behind it, it would just be confusing, but you have lovely click buttons and icons that make it so easy — it’s the perfect Excel package.
With the help of Katana, NatureWall’s team was able to:
Connect their sales channel on Shopify with manufacturing and inventory software and third-party accounting tool, Xero
Double monthly revenue through sales and scale operations in terms of personnel and expanding to new markets
Use the Katana Shop Floor App to track floor-level operations and monitor manufacturing order progress
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