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Direct Messaging for Sharing Inventory on User Bases

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ls17
5 - Automation Enthusiast
5 - Automation Enthusiast

My company is trying to get our various departments to keep track of inventory via airtable. This is not inventory to be sold, but more things like office supplies, furniture, etc. that is stored and used within each department and can also be transferred and used by other departments. We are thinking of each department having their own base listing their inventory that then can be viewed by other departments so they can see how much of what item is available at any given time.

I am wondering if there is a way to set it up so a user can see an item they want from another departments base, click on it, and then message the posting department directly via airtable? If so, would this require creating some type of code for each individual item listed on each department's base and become overly time consuming to set up?

I messaged airtable but they basically said they could not answer this question and that I should ask the community. I am very new to this system and am not sure of many of the features it offers. Any help is appreciated. Thanks!

5 Replies 5
Meredith_Scrog1
6 - Interface Innovator
6 - Interface Innovator

Hi! There are a few ways I think you could accomplish this. You might want to have just one base for everything and then use fields/filters to designate which department it's in. My thoughts are - 

- just use comments to @ each other, not that organized but very simple to comment at each other

- use fields to designate availability, interest, etc. you could have someone submit a form against a piece of inventory to demonstrate interest. you could set up automations so that when someone has submitted a form, it emails the person that 'owns' the item.

Overall, there are a handful of solutions that don't require any coding or any third parties! I'm sorry they weren't able to answer. I know this is an inventory tracker that isn't internal, but its structure is a good start on how you could set up your bases. https://www.airtable.com/universe/expDrHGuyjSQlrKTq/inventory-tracker

I would think you have the following tables - Inventory; Departments; Employees; Requests (only maybe, this could be the form) 

Let me know if this helps or if you have any other questions!

Thanks I appreciate the feedback. It seems like the solutions that I have been finding or have been recommended do not seem to be more efficient than switching tabs and opening up an email? Unless I am understanding wrong. I was hoping to find something that would be more efficient and streamlined within the program. Maybe it just isn't built for this type of function at this point. 

If you have a pro plan, I would go 1 base, 1 list of inventory with all the necessary details, a shared read only view with the inventory and a form that lets departments ask usage of another departments inventory-items, an automation to notify the "owner" of that piece and an personalised interface with 2 pages: own inventory and requests (with 2 buttons to accept or decline and some automations behind that to update the inventory list), and an automation to notify the requester. 

Ofcourse (1) noting that everyone with more than read only permissions will cost you an extra user on your account, thanks to Airtable's ridiculous pricing policy, and (2) these kind of questions are difficult to answer because of the unknown wishes, current setup, ...

ls17
5 - Automation Enthusiast
5 - Automation Enthusiast

Hello and thank you! This does seem like a good idea, however what I have been coming around to is that it seems that it may be more time consuming to set up all the automations to make something like this work than to simply open an email and do it that way? I think maybe Airtable isn't set up for what I am looking to do and to get what I want may be more effort than it may be worth. I appreciate the input though and will certainly play around with it a bit more.

You're right that it has no use to set up systems like this just to set them up. If the setup isn't in balance with the hours saved, you could choose to do it old school 🙃