As the operations manager at Faraday Bicycles, a small San Francisco-based company that makes beautiful electric bikes, Victor Lane handles a lot: with responsibilities ranging from invoicing and customer service to inventory and logistics management, he needs to have a clear picture of the business at all times.
Before finding Airtable, Lane managed all the (literally) moving pieces of the company using spreadsheets. It wasn’t an ideal solution: “It’s not what spreadsheets are designed for. As soon as I shared a spreadsheet with someone in the company, we had two versions and reconciling them was terrible.” With Airtable, Lane is able to add his coworkers as collaborators who can see and make changes in realtime.
Right now, Lane uses Airtable to keep track of issues and replacement bike part inventory. “Any time we have a failed component in the field, I record the information in here,” says Lane. For quick entry of the necessary information, he uses a form that he automatically generated from his existing table.
Although the issue tracker started out simply, with just the date, the name of the part, and what went wrong, “as more info came up or as people asked for more, or we came up with more to track, I could add it,” he says.
Now, he’s able to generate custom reports to help drive replacement part purchasing decisions. “I apply filters and hide fields to show only what I need, such as how many headlights failed in a month.”
Lane also uses Airtable for ad hoc special projects, such as a recent effort to clean up their in-house fleet of bicycles for future sale: “We have a bunch of bikes in the office that we want to fix up and sell. This was used to track that inventory and what steps were necessary to make each bike sellable.”
Check out the Faraday Bicycle Issue and Inventory Tracker below.