Block/Service/Plugin/Whatever to Publish Mobile App to Add/Edit Records Across Tables?

Have not (I don’t think) been able to find something that fits the bill here yet. I am trying to build (have mostly built) a base for our construction project to handle purchase orders.

My base currently has 7 tables (Inventory List, POs, PO Details, Shipments, Shipment Details, Delivery Details, and Vendors). The idea/workflow is as follows:

  1. Go into the PO table and create a new purchase order with a unique number (hard-keying now but would like to switch to auto-numbering in the future) (say from home depot for lumber)
  2. Go into the PO details table and start creating detail lines in the PO (IE if I was buying lumber from home depot, I could add a line for 2x4s, a line for 1/2" 4x8 plywood, a line for 8’ 4x4s, etc). The detail description is a linked record to the Inventory table so if it is something I have bought before or buy regularly, I can just pull that up. If it is something new, it gets added to the inventory table.
  3. In the PO Details table, link each detail line to the appropriate PO from the PO table via another linked field. This lets all the items/quantity/cost of each PO roll up
  4. When you receive a shipment against the PO either full or partial (say my 2x4s and 4x4s showed up), you go to Shipments and create a new shipment with the date and the reference number on the delivery slip so there is a shipment record, and link that shipment to the PO it is to be paid/received against
  5. got to Shipment details and similar to PO details, add the items (linked field to PO details) that you received and then link it to the appropriate Shipment from the shipment table (linked field)
  6. Finally, when you delivery the material from the warehouse to the site, it is the same process with a delivery (outbound) instead of a shipment (inbound).

What I’m looking for, hopefully, is a slick way to publish some sort of front end app to my team in the field so that they can create a new PO while on the go (and thus get the appropriate next sequential number to keep things organized) and then add the detail line items to that PO.

Next, when a shipment comes in they should be able to go in an create a record of a shipment, snap a picture of the receiving paperwork, and then add detail line items to the shipment so that we know we received the material and it is now in inventory.

I can see how you could have a lot of different forms for each table and just have them do it in a browser, but that is quite a cumbersome process. Is there some app/3rd party plugin/block/etc that would assist in building out a very basic data entry app for this stuff (it would need to be able to update PO and PO Details tables at the same time, for example, to cut down on confusion).

Any thoughts here would be appreciated, or input that this is a project for a developer to actually create and there are no tools out there to accomplish this.

Thanks

Hi Spencer,

This is something I’ve recently spent a fair amount of time researching and testing. I think what you’re describing here is a major missing piece of the puzzle, and something that a bunch of people are going to be trying to solve in the next couple years.

I currently know of 3 services that (sort of) offer something like you’re describing, but they’re all currently in development.
https://stacker.app/ - This one is the most complete at the moment
https://pory.io/ - Beta
https://airconnex.com/ - Pre-beta

I think this is a very promising option eventually, but in my opinion it’s still early days with this type of software, and I doubt the customization level would be quite what you are dreaming about. It’s also a bit expensive for what you get imo. It would be better than forms and the Airtable mobile app though, I’m sure.

The other option at this point is hiring a custom developer to build the app. I have yet to find anyone with a really impressive demo of what you’re talking about, but it’s absolutely possible, and I’m sure people are working on it. I’ve personally built a really simple prototype app similar to what you’re describing, just as a proof of concept for a data-entry app connected to my own Airtable.

I’m happy to chat more or answer questions though, if you want to ask them here or DM me.

If anyone has built anything like this, or I’m missing a piece of software, I’d love to hear other’s thoughts on this topic.

Do you guys have any experience with https://bubble.io/ for building “layer” on top of Airtable (similar to stacker i guess). They look like a pretty polished product.

We also have need for similar solution so are now exploring options, and Stacker and Bubble look like only serious candidates at the moment.

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