Case Study

How Tug-E-Nuff used Katana to reduce delivery time by 420%

Tug-E-Nuff is a family-run dog toy brand, creating fantastic toys for our canine friends since 2009. They found Katana via Shopify, and have since used it to get better visibility over raw materials, streamline daily operations, and improve order waiting times. Here’s their story.

Our B2B customers used to wait probably 6 to 8 weeks for an order. Because of the improvements we’ve made and the visibility of everything, we've been able to reduce that down to 10 days."
Danny Rouse, Managing Director of Tug-E-Nuff
  • Tug-E-Nuff moved from paper and spreadsheets to Katana’s ERP software 
  • They’re using contract manufacturing to outsource sub-assemblies and make products more efficiently without needing more in-house power 
  • Finally, they’ve used Zapier to integrate their wholesale orders and shipping partner with Katana so they always have clear inventory numbers 

About Tug-E-Nuff 

Tug-E-Nuff is a family-run dog toy brand that’s on a mission to enrich the relationship humans and dogs share using the power of play. It was born back in 2009 from a single toy for a special collie called Indy. 

These days, they’re known across the UK, US, and Europe for their quality range of interactive training toys for dogs of all breeds and backgrounds — each designed by co-owners (and mum-and-son team) Danny and Teresa Rouse. 

Danny was joined by Tug-E-Nuff’s Manufacturing Manager, Shauni Perkins, in chatting with Katana. 

The challenge they faced 

Before Katana, Tug-E-Nuff took a make-to-order approach using a mixture of paper, spreadsheets, and Stocky to manage inventory and production. Unfortunately, it didn’t give them the necessary visibility, and their data frequently lagged behind their orders. 

We weren’t on top of product costings. It was a spreadsheet that we created in the past that was out of date almost immediately.”

They were also making every product to order rather than making any items to stock. Delivery times could get lengthy pretty quickly, particularly with larger B2B orders. 

Our main business is B2C, but we also do a fair amount of B2B. Customers used to wait probably 6 to 8 weeks for an order.” 

It was clear that there were potential improvements to be gained from a more efficient and unified system. Now they had to set about finding software that would work for them. 

The solution they found 

Thanks to their use of Shopify, Tug-E-Nuff found Katana via the Shopify App Store. But making a major software implementation for your business is not a sudden, or simple, decision and this was the same for Tug-E-Nuff. 

I found you [Katana] on the Shopify App Store. I evaluated it. It took a very, very long time for us to make that decision that it was the right choice, and there was a lot of setup involved. It’s an investment of time to get it working.”

Katana doesn’t expect new users to sign up, pay, and go it alone however. And with some one-on-one help from our team, getting everything set up was definitely easier than expected.  

The biggest eureka moment was when we started using it, because we put all that effort and time into it, and it works. When we used a previous app, our stock was always wrong. But Katana is really…it’s right all the time. And when things do go wrong, it’s easier than to go back and find out what’s happened.” 

Cracking contract manufacturing 

Not too long ago, Katana introduced the contract manufacturing workflow, allowing companies to issue outsourced purchase orders (OPOs), so manufacturers who aren’t in-house can help them with their workload. Tug-E-Nuff are a great example of this, using OPOs for some of their sub-assemblies to get products made elsewhere and sent back to them fully assembled. 

We started using the outsourced purchase order system maybe five months ago. And it’s worked really well because we were able to manage the stock levels of materials that we’re sending to other manufacturers to complete.” 

They’re also able to track all their raw materials, even when they’re no longer on-site, so they always know if an outsourced provider has the necessary materials to build a sub-assembly or if they need to order more. 

One of our products that we manufacture, actually the very first product we made, has two or three outsourced elements to it. And there are additional subassembly bits that we do in-house. So the actual product recipe for that product is quite complex. But Katana handles it really well.”

Zipping things up with Zapier 

Along with outsourced manufacturing, Tug-E-Nuff used some expert knowledge to help them set up integrations using Zapier, to add more automation on top of what Katana already offers. 

We use Zapier quite a lot. We use it for smaller tasks like automation and things like that. It was easy to set up. Well, I say it’s easy, it wasn’t myself that did it, but the actual integration wasn’t that bad.”

Tug-E-Nuff are using Zapier to link Katana to Orderspace for larger wholesale orders, and Shipstation, their shipping provider. Obviously using Zapier shouldn’t be a permanent solution, and customer feedback is always invaluable to Katana as it informs us about which partners we should potentially look to create native integrations with. 

We use Zapier to bring in orders from Orderspace, our B2B order site, and that allows us to then feed the beast I suppose, to get that information in there to be able to to make sure that we continually have the stock and our manufacturing team can keep up with what we need.”

The overall impact 

Since their adoption of Katana, Tug-E-Nuff have seen fantastic results throughout the company, with organisation made simpler and orders prepared in increasingly impressive timeframes. 

Our main business is B2C, but we also do a bit of a fair amount of B2B. Customers used to wait probably 6 to 8 weeks for an order. Because of the efficiency and the visibility of everything that’s down to 10 days.”

It’s also allowed them to plan ahead more, with no fear of sudden stock-outs or running around to find materials that they’re not sure if they have on hand. 

Before, I was coming in the morning and having to plan for that day and it was a bit all over the place, whereas now I’m able to plan a day ahead. Today, all the work has been planned. Now I can spend my day planning for tomorrow and there’s also times I’ve been able to plan for the next week and it’s so much easier in terms of keeping up with the materials. I know that no-one is going to get caught out because they haven’t got a certain material.”

What the future holds 

Of course, Tug-E-Nuff isn’t standing still, and will continue to grow, expand their product range, and continue production at a steady and comfortable rate. 

Production never really stops now. It’s a more continuous workflow as I can see how many jobs everyone has. Are they running low? Do I need to assign more? There’s never that break in between now or not knowing what to do next. It’s all there now, ready for them just to kind of crack on with it.” 

And Katana will look to grow with them, consistently improving the integrations we offer, and our overall user experience to make work even easier for our fantastic users like Tug-E-Nuff. 

Katana has revolutionised the way that our workshop works. It really helps us to plan. And what it will allow us to do as we move into this recession, is bring in key performance indicators for everybody in the business. And this will help us monitor and be able to actually show some deliverable efficiencies from our manufacturing team.”

If Danny and Shauni’s experiences with Katana have piqued your interest, you can try Katana out for 14 days completely free and see whether we could help your manufacturing business flourish. 






Pet Goods

Get the visibility you need to move products and make decisions
Start a free 14-day trial*
*No credit card required