Manufacturing journalist, TR Cutler discussed the choices small direct-to-customer (D2C) businesses have to access to high-end inventory tools. Cutler described how many small manufacturing companies have turned to Katana cloud-based manufacturing software to manage inventory and orders in the recent issue of Quality Digest magazine. Designed for smaller manufacturers or home craftspeople, Katana’s pay-as-you-go service is quickly outpacing the old familiar brands like MRPeasy and Fishbowl, so Shopify sellers can get a handle on real-time visual inventory control and order management.
According to Cutler, more than a million small manufacturers worldwide have forgone any retail sales in favor of a D2C model, cutting out warehouse operations and retail stores. The reason is simple: margins. With hundreds of thousands of online “retailers,” these craft manufacturing companies must capture every sale possible, build brand consumer loyalty, and secure reorders. That does not happen when the product is back-ordered or out of stock.
In the manufacturing D2C space, systems such as Katana are integrating online tools such as accounting, sales, and forecasting, giving small manufacturers the tools only large companies could afford in the past. As the D2C market continues to grow, so too will the need for flexibility to handle production workflows effectively and maintain quality.
Building a better customer experience is at the heart of the D2C, end-to-end brand. This means great ratings on customer service and products. High retention rates matter in this business model; churn is the enemy of the online manufacturing operation.
About TR Cutler, Inc.
Thomas R. Cutler is the President and CEO of Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based, TR Cutler, Inc., the largest manufacturing communication firm worldwide with four dozen industry experts and thought leaders on staff. Cutler is celebrating the 20-year anniversary of the Manufacturing Media Consortium.
Cutler has authored more than 7,000 articles for a wide range of manufacturing periodicals, industrial publications, and business journals. Cutler is the most published freelance industrial journalist worldwide, and more than 4200 industry leaders follow Cutler on Twitter daily at @ThomasRCutler.
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