#068 - Challenges of small manufacturers to organise their production and inventory, with Kristjan Vilosius of Katana, Estonia


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By Balint Horvath, Balint Horvath: Entrepreneur, and Innovation Specialist. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

This episode’s guest is Kistjan Vilosius of Katana, a startup from Estonia.

Working at a small-, medium-sized company, or startup you have to wear many hats and it happens often that there are simply not enough people to wear those hats. You have limited resources. Highly efficient way of working is therefore extremely important. How many times did it happen that you spent unexpectedly high number of hours trying to fix some issues when using your software, for example plain old spreadsheets, especially when those spreadsheets are connected, which handle different aspects of your business?

This episode’s guest is Katana’s co-founder and CEO, Kristjan. He has held different leadership positions in the corporate world as the group CFO then group CEO of Magnum, a multinational pharmaceutical retailer in the Baltics and Finland. Later he was the CEO of Up Invest family office investing in retail, media, healthcare and cleantech companies. Today he’s the CEO and Product Manager of Katana, a manufacturing ERP for makers, crafters, manufacturers.

We’ll talk about how they started out, back when Katana was just an idea. We discuss what solutions exist for managing inventory, production besides Katana’s solution. We go into details how their software works, the many integrations they offer now and they expect to offer in the near future. You’ll also hear about trends that you can expect in the b2c space.

Enjoy this episode.

Raw transcript is available at: https://www.thehardwareentrepreneur.com

Show highlights can be seen below:

  • The story behind the first manufacturing and inventory management tool that helps small business scale faster [3:00]
  • What makes Estonia one of the best countries to start a company [6:30]
  • How Katana brings in the point of truth [8:54]
  • Why focusing on a specific customer niche is a winning strategy for inventory management platforms [12:23]
  • The ways in which Katana is trying to become an integrated app [18:08]
  • How Katana supports manufacturers producing highly complex products [25:18]
  • The differences between Katana and Excel that make your life and business easier [29:36]
  • Trends for small manufacturing in 2019 and beyond [33:02]
  • If you could go back in time in your 20s, what notes would you give yourself? [35:21]
  • If you had to name a book, which one had the biggest impact on your entrepreneurial career? [36:46]
  • Why make your leg day in the gym on Monday morning [38:24]
  • How to bring out the best of people in an international team [39:40]
  • What is the best way to reach Kristjan? [37:40]

68 episodes