Welcome to BuiltOnAir, a podcast and video series about all things Airtable. Each episode, we talk with someone active in the Airtable community to discuss their experiences and showcase an interesting way they’ve used Airtable in their work.
On this week’s episode we have Alli Alosa on the podcast. Alli lives in New England where her primary work is with a family-owned truck dealership. Although her training in college was more in the fine arts, she’s been enjoying working with family doing advertising and marketing. Her most recent work with Airtable has helped the business consolidate their policies and practices across the board, and make all their work more streamlined.
Her work with Airtable started when her father found the app and suggested she use it to put into place an inventory management system for their company. With eight different locations for selling and servicing 18-wheeler trucks, they needed a way to pull all the operations together into a single place. Their first approaches involved using normal spreadsheets to try to solve the problem, but quickly discovered that their needs were more geared toward a customized database system.
Since Alli built their inventory management platform in Airtable, the company has added other systems in the app, including rental car and flight booking tracking, paid time off, and many more. In total they have around 20 fully used bases. Family members were all on board when they adopted Airtable, and Alli has been the main developer during each project. Since then they’ve created multiple internal tutorials for their teams to use it in their responsibilities. Their need for tutorials was less about creating a base (like the Airtable-made tutorials) and more for interacting with the database already created, which is what Alli has been focusing on.
For her demonstration, Alli shares their primary inventory database. The base is embedded into their own internal website, and team members need to login to access the content there. Much of the base has been set up to be automatically updated with new inventory, sale details and inventory movement data within 2 hours of occurrence.
The base also makes use of the Airtable Blocks feature to make it easy to output a truck details page that auto-populates and looks uniform, allowing sales team members to quickly print and share the information. They have a table to watch the current ad being run (via attachment), then another to keep an up to date database of leads. Automation features have been built into the system via services like Zapier.
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