We've always used AirTable to run most of our business and have always feared giving suppliers outside of our business access. With Stacker, we're able to give different suppliers access to specific data in order to ensure clear and efficient communication.

– Kelly McGee, VP Engineering, Elevate Dynamics

Problem

Working with mainly international production facilities, Elevate was struggling to communicate the right data to the right people. Emails and messages were getting lost in the shuffle - as were production times. The communication problems were impacting the business enough that long, expensive trips to Asia to meet in-person became the default method of communication.

Elevate uses Airtable to manage their data. However, without a front-end to limit access to data, they were unable to share information in Airtable with suppliers without sharing their entire database. The amount of information in the database would have been overwhelming for the suppliers, and there was always the chance for a breach in data security with the suppliers having unlimited access.

#1. Communication with suppliers

"We do most of our manufacturing and production outside of the US, which can make communication really difficult! We send files, make requests, and conduct overall communication mostly via email and messages. This can make our engineering team’s work extremely complicated and fairly convoluted. In fact, we typically just get on a plane and fly to Asia to solve problems in person because it’s so difficult to keep our suppliers organized or communicate with them clearly."

#2. Data Security

"We’ve always used AirTable to run most of our business. It helps us internally keep track of tasks, project schedules, our library of parts and components and much more. We have always feared giving suppliers outside of our business access to AirTable as there is a learning curve and they could compromise our data."

Solution

An easy-to-use user portal for their Airtable database

When Kelly McGee, VP of Engineering found Stacker, he knew they'd found the solution to their communication and data sharing/security issues. Stacker's user roles allowed Elevate to give their suppliers access to only the data that was relevant to them. No more overwhelming rows and columns of data. In addition, Stacker's clean, easy-to-use UI allowed their suppliers to easily navigate, update data, store files, and file requests. Finally, suppliers all over the world were on the same page in one central source of truth.

"When we found Stacker, we were so excited to see that there might be a potential solution to our problem! With our custom Stacker app built on Airtable, we are able to provide logins to all of our suppliers where they can now access tasks, schedules, shipment requests, our parts library and more."

Results

Now at Elevate, there are no more impromptu trips to Asia to clear up communication issues. There's no more worry about data security. And with those main problems now solved, most importantly, Elevate is able to get their products to market much faster than before. Their suppliers now have access to the data they need, from anywhere, which has made Elevate's business more efficient. This increased speed and efficiency has made a tremendous impact at Elevate.

Secure data, clear communication, increased speed to market.

"The impact has been tremendous. We're able to give different suppliers access to specific data in order to maintain confidentiality of documents, and most importantly we're able to store files and requests in an easy to navigate system."

We asked Kelly to finish this sentence. "Now that I have Stacker...

"I can bring products to market faster and ensure clear and efficient communication."