Dabble is a synthetic photo studio for e-commerce retailers. They use CGI and computer vision to create on-demand, realistic product photography - all from a simple stock photo submission.
While they offered a high-tech, scalable service for their clients, Dabble's own team was struggling with a painfully manual onboarding process.
Since client orders are highly-specific - each item can have a ton of variations and file attachments - Dabble's CTO PJ and his colleagues were stuck emailing customers back and forth and inputting nitty-gritty specifications into their core Airtable database by hand.
Scaling was becoming a pressing challenge (no complains here 🙌🏼), as more and more client emails came in with demands that had to go through this slow process.
They needed a solution where customers could neatly send these requests right into their database, but the options so far were not cutting it:
Regular form builders required knowing beforehand which fields the client would submit.
That was impossible - with so many possible product variations, PJ needed a dynamic form that added fields based on current answers.
Otherwise, bad usability would push clients away.
A high-code solution would suit UX needs. However, fixing up a React-based front-end, connecting to Airtable's API, hosting, authentication… yikes.
It would be a misuse of the team's time to focus on this instead of their core product experiments - even if they've got the brains to do it.
We met PJ during this time, and everything clicked when he tested Abstra ✨
With his Python knowledge, he built their unique business logic in a script and Abstra's automatic UI turned that into a full customer-facing app, ready to share with clients. It checked all the boxes:
Each user gets a dynamic Smart Form that feeds off their answers to understand when they need to add another product, variation or custom property. Plus, pre-validated file, image and video upload widgets are shown whenever needed.
Since orders need to fit Airtable's data formats, any no-code solution would require additional data processing. With Abstra, PJ was able skip this bug-prone step by formatting answers with Python in the Smart Form itself and integrating directly with the database.
In the dynamic environment startups operate in, being able to quickly iterate processes is a huge advantage. Building in their fav, plain Python was the key to agility for this team of ML engineers.
"We increased 5x the number of orders we can process. The manual emailing back and forth is now serialized into an online form - which we can quickly iterate using just Python."
With their Order Form, Dabble increased by 5x the amount of orders they can process and clients they can take on - without a single extra hire, or spending any additional resources. Customers also beamed at switching from the back and forth emailing to a serialized, no-hassle online form.
After acing client-side automation, PJ sped up Dabble's service even more by creating Forms for 3D contractors to submit their deliverables - images, renders and files. All sync’ed up and organized via Airtable and Dropbox ✅
With Abstra always up their sleeve, Dabble's team can rest assured any upcoming process can be solved and scaled in a beat.