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Fishbowl Inventory is an out-of-the-box software which caters to a lot of different industries in need of inventory management tools.
Best For:
Fishbowl is best for QuickBooks users that need advanced inventory management or a light MRP system. Typically best for small to medium sized businesses. Median business user has 30 employees.
Katana is a manufacturing ERP to help get inventory control over materials and products in real time. Features allow users to manage orders, raw materials, finished products, production recipes, manufacturing, sales, and stock.
Best For:
Katana Manufacturing ERP is tailored for various industries, from apparel and electronics to food and aerospace. Designed for small to mid-sized manufacturers, it offers a visual platform to seamlessly manage inventory, production, and sales.
8.9
Our Rating
based on our expert editorial analysis
6.7
USER RATING
based on 23 user reviews
Our Verdict:

If you’re a small or midsize business on the hunt for a powerful and scalable inventory management software that won’t break the bank, Fishbowl is the way to go. We found it perfect for manufacturers with FDA or USDA audit requirements for traceability.

However, if you’re looking for a simple inventory management system to handle just a few assets, Fishbowl might be a bit too robust for your needs. And its seamless integration with QuickBooks means if you already have a full ERP solution in place, some features might end up being redundant.

Pros:
  • Competitive pricing; does not require a subscription
  • Integrates with QuickBooks
  • Can function as a light MRP system
Cons:
  • Somewhat steep learning curve
  • Transactions do not post to QuickBooks in realtime; manual or scheduled sync only
  • Customizations can lead to difficult support scenarios
  • Does not store quotes
8.0
USER RATING
based on 9 user reviews
Our Verdict:

Katana Manufacturing ERP has transparent pricing and real-time inventory and order management. It delivers priority-based production planning, multichannel sales management, manufacturing floor-level control, and product traceability.

On the downside, paid plans include only one full-access. The Essential plan omits batch tracking and shop floor features, and the lack of a mobile app or API options limits its adaptability.

Pros:
  • Affordable, transparent pricing
  • Real-time inventory tracking across locations
  • Data-driven decision-making support
  • Live inventory management
  • Responsive live support
Cons:
  • Only one full-access included in paid plans
  • Essential plan lacks batch tracking and shop floor operators
  • No mobile app
  • No API or hook option for further integration
  • Price Range
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  • Starting Price $4,395 (perpetual license)
  • Client OS Windows, macOS
  • Price Range
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  • Starting Price $179/month
  • Client OS Web

Our editorial review staff has hands-on experience testing these products, and we’re sharing our insights from using Fishbowl Inventory and Katana MRP.

Fishbowl Inventory Overview

Fishbowl Inventory is an effective inventory management solution that excels in a wide range of industries. It’s best for QuickBooks users who need advanced inventory management or a light MRP system. Typically, small to medium-sized businesses with around 30 employees find Fishbowl to be a good fit.

Fishbowl’s competitive pricing, which doesn’t require a subscription, makes it a cost-effective choice for businesses on a budget. Its integration with QuickBooks is a major advantage, especially for those already using QuickBooks. It can also function as a light MRP system, providing an additional layer of functionality.

However, it’s not without its drawbacks. The learning curve can be somewhat steep, and transactions do not post to QuickBooks in real-time. They are either manual or scheduled sync only. Plus, any customizations could lead to tricky support scenarios, and the software does not store quotes.

Katana MRP Overview

Katana MRP is a manufacturing ERP built to provide real-time inventory control over materials and products. It’s designed for small to mid-sized manufacturers across various industries, offering a visually appealing platform for managing inventory, production, and sales.

Katana MRP stands out for its affordable, transparent pricing, real-time inventory tracking across locations, and data-driven decision-making support. It offers robust live inventory management and responsive live support. Also, its simplicity and ease of use make it a user-friendly choice.

However, there are some limitations. Paid plans only include one full-access, and the Essential plan lacks batch tracking and shop floor features. Also, the absence of a mobile app or API options can limit its adaptability for some businesses.

Fishbowl Inventory vs Katana MRP: Which is Best for Most Businesses?

If your business is primarily focused on inventory management and you’re a QuickBooks user, Fishbowl Inventory is likely the better fit for you. It’s integration with QuickBooks and ability to function as a light MRP system make it a great choice for small to mid-size businesses.

However, if your business is more manufacturing-oriented and needs a visually appealing, easy-to-use platform, Katana MRP is the better pick. It’s ideal for businesses that prioritize real-time inventory tracking and data-driven decision-making.

Check out our roundup of the best ERP software to help make your decision easier.

Fishbowl Inventory Screenshot
Fishbowl Inventory
★★★★★
★★★★★
(23)
Fishbowl Inventory is an out-of-the-box software which caters to a lot of different industries in need of inventory management tools.
Price Range
   $     $     $     $     $   
   $     $     $     $     $   
Starting Price
$4,395 (perpetual license)
Client OS
Windows, macOS
Deployment
Cloud or On-Premises
Katana Manufacturing ERP Screenshot
Katana Manufacturing ERP
★★★★★
★★★★★
(9)
Katana is a manufacturing ERP to help get inventory control over materials and products in real time. Features allow users to manage orders, raw materials, finished products, production recipes, manufacturing, sales, and stock.
Price Range
   $     $     $     $     $   
   $     $     $     $     $   
Starting Price
$179/month
Client OS
Web
Deployment
Cloud Hosted
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