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Factory Superstar vs. Katana MRP

Both Factory Superstar and Katana are MRP (material / resource planning) systems.

Here’s our take on why and when you would choose one over the other.

Why would I want an MRP system?

MRP systems like Factory Superstar and Katana MRP can deal with a lot of the drudgery associated with running a manufacturing business. They can streamline operations, allowing you to focus your resources on growing your business rather than dealing with things like stock counts, stock outs, and assigning and monitoring work performed by your team.

A good MRP system, set up correctly, will free up massive amounts of your time. It might suck-in orders from your websites, generate cut lists and bills of materials, then check inventory, then tell your team what to do and when, and tell you what stock items you need to purchase. It will track things like goods incoming and outgoing, and who made what and when, and what’s going with what courier. And you still haven’t lifted a finger.

A lot of small manufacturers rely on spreadsheets. Spreadsheets work, but you can do better. Seriously. 

If there’s one thing you take from this page: a good MRP system will revolutionise your business.

What's special about Katana MRP?

Katana MRP was released in 2018.

You can read their history on their about us page, but briefly:

It was started by three childhood friends – one was CEO of one of the largest investment firms in Estonia, one led tech development at software giants, and the other ran an analytics consultancy firm. 

They “started small”, and by that they mean they “raised $700,000 from investors before a single line of code was written”, released the software within half a year, and to date have raised over $51 million in investment. 

Katana is different from most other MRP systems in that they have a huge amount of funding at their disposal, and don’t appear to have any sort of background in manufacturing.

What's special about Factory Superstar?

Factory Superstar was released in 2023, though it was in development long before.

It initially started as a paper based system for a small furniture manufacturing business after the founder of the furniture business tried lots of MRP systems like Katana MRP and found they seemed to have no idea what it was like to run a small manufacturing business.

Over time, he noticed that visitors to the workshop were more interested in the screens on the walls which told the team what to do, and the ease with which production was managed, than by the furniture they had initially come to view.

He decided to release the software for general use at the end of 2019, and let the system manage production for the next two and a half years while he used the time it saved and the money he made selling furniture to fund the software development. It was only then that it was named Factory Superstar.

Factory Superstar has no big investors. It continues to be funded by the success of our manufacturing business and, increasingly, by the success of our users.

Read more about us.

Why Katana MRP?

Katana MRP is an older business than Factory Superstar. They’re similar set-ups – web based, pay by subscription. It has features like:

  • Basic configuration of assemblies via recipes (for example, for a “red dining table 140 cm” long you have to define that exact configuration – it’s not infinitely variable).
  • Batch tracing.
  • More integrations, though be careful – it only has about 5 native integrations, the others require third-party services. But in fairness more parts of it integrate with external tools, like a CRM and accounts.
  • CRM.

In general Katana has more features than Factory Superstar. So if you absolutely need your production software to be integrated with your accounting software and your CRM and are happy with rudimentary assembly configuration and a poor shop-floor interface then try it out. (And if you really need that feature in Factory Superstar let us know).


Katana is more expensive than Factory Superstar, though in fairness you need to look at what sort of return you’re getting on your investment rather than absolute price, so we don’t think you should just discount them on price (by all means, discount them on their product though 🙂 )

Why Factory Superstar?

Factory Superstar has less features than Katana MRP, but we’re confident that the features it has are far more powerful and appropriate for a small or micro manufacturer.

  • Industry leading assembly configuration (for example, for a “red dining table 140 cm long” you’d just need to select a colour and enter any length at all, and it will calculate cut lists, materials required, costs, and tell the team what to do and when).
  • Simple integration with your shop floor – use any old tablet PC to instantly track and monitor progress on the shop floor. No app required.
  • Revolutionary analytics – since more elements of production are tracked, it allows more to be analysed.
  • Simple purchase order tracking, with machine learning for future estimates on lead times, costs, etc.
  • Much smaller company – your requests, complaints etc. are taken much more seriously.
  • One-to-one help as standard.


Factory Superstar is less expensive than Katana MRP (again, you need to look at what sort of return you’re getting on your investment rather than absolute price).


Katana is probably more suited to larger small manufacturers than Factory Superstar, who might find the all-in-one integrations useful. e.g. if you have 50-100 employees, don’t do a lot of custom or bespoke products, and can dedicate a member of staff to administer the system then by all means have a look at Katana.

Factory Superstar is more suited for small or micro manufacturers and makers – so if you have between 0 and 50 people on your shop floor.

Frankly, Factory Superstar exists because we found offerings like Katana to be totally inadequate for our manufacturing purposes (small / micro manufacturer with between 1 and 15 people on the shop floor at any time).

It is our goal to provide the very best production management software for small manufacturers.


See how Factory Superstar would work for you.

Book a free no-obligation demo where we show you how it would work for your products, or try for free today.
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