ZenboothZenbooth’s high-fidelity manufacturing process

Zenbooth | Airtable
  • 2016


  • 3


  • 13


Zenbooth was founded in 2016 to solve a problem that’s common in the open offices of fast-growing companies and coworking spaces: noise.

From an Airtable base to an office space

Zenbooths are made partially from locally sourced wood, partially from recycled materials, and is assembled entirely in the United States. Today, the company produces thousands of booths every year from their factory in Berkeley, California. They’ve delivered their booths to fast-growing companies like Lyft and Samsung. But as demand for their product has grown, so too has the complexity involved in planning and shipping their nearly 500-pound phone booths—a process for which they rely on Airtable.

“We were using spreadsheets early on,” says Sam Johnson, Founder of Zenbooth. “But each booth we build is made up of many unique components, which all need to be stocked in the right quantities. After we shipped about 30 booths, we needed a better way to manage our inventory closely, and track production through various stages.”

We’ve built a lot of our company around Airtable. You just lose a degree of freedom using an out-of-the-box system. We’ve been able to build a system in Airtable and gain a lot of automation that we wouldn’t have been able to get through spreadsheets.

Sam Johnson


Workflow highlights

  • Linked records allowed them to connect their datasets. Connecting their production queue and their inventory management system through Airtable meant they’d essentially built their own custom manufacturing resource planning (MRP) system.
  • For the design team, the growing number of orders meant a proportional increase in the amount of time spent preparing, designing, and printing out labels, instructions, and other customer-facing materials. They were able to streamline asset creation using the page designer block, which pulls customer and order information directly into a designed template. With a one-time setup, the page designer block automated the design process.
  • Calendar views helped offer visual representations of the company’s production and manufacturing processes. “Our logistics officer schedules shipments and makes sure that manufacturing is not overloaded,” says David Evans, Head of Product at Zenbooth. When an order is dragged around in an Airtable calendar views, the date fields of the order automatically update across the base in real time–no switching back and forth between tables and manually changing dates.

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