Knack Blog

The Knack team on web applications, online databases, and beautifully designed products.

 

Featured Industry: Beer, Wine, & Beverages

01/09/2015 Posted by Brandon

Here at Knack we have the unique opportunity to see all of the web apps and online databases that are built for specific industries.

A great example is the beverage industry, where we”ve seen a particularly strong fit amongst the craft beer and wine sectors.

This attention may or may not be heightened by the near and dear place wine and craft beer holds in our hearts 🙂 Eric makes his own wine, Steve ran a wine blog, and craft beer is always on Brandon”s Christmas list.

Why Knack?

Many of the breweries and wineries we”ve worked with are big enough to have significant I.T. needs, but don”t have the technology budgets to pay for bloated software or full-time technology staff.

Many of these individuals not only manage “the books” but they wear several hats like purchasing agent, production supervisor or even brewmaster.

This is why Knack is so appealing: it”s quick, easy to use, and perhaps most crucially can immediately provide major benefits. Customized apps can quickly be built to help manage sales, inventory, and distribution without a huge investment in time or money.

Ninkasi Beer Industry Database

This combination of simplicity and customization were exactly what appealed to Jessica Jones of Ninkasi Brewery:

“We needed a platform for group project management and collaboration. Other options were either not customizable enough or too complex to teach all of our staff at varying levels to use.”

Trey Bowden of Dogfish Head Brewery was pleased with the ease of use when creating a production management database:

“When I was recently tasked to build an internal database-driven app for “beer product holds & dispositions”, I knew Knack was the right tool to get the job done in a timely manner…You can”t beat the simple user interface, built-in reporting, and cloud-connected capabilities with it”s Zapier interface (as opposed to using something like MS Access).

“We just launched our first app in early 2015 and our production team couldn”t be happier!”

Here”s a look at some of the apps we”re seeing for beer and wine users:

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Case Study: Svelte Brands

12/11/2014 Posted by Brandon

Max Hauer is the founder of Svelte Brands – an operator of multiple E-commerce brands focused on fashion and beauty.

The trick for any modern E-Commerce company is managing product data, and lot’s of it.

It’s not as simple as maintaining a spreadsheet of your products — each product can be sold through various channels that may require a different set of data for the same product, including unique item numbers and SKUs.

Max was struggling to find the right platform to manage Svelte’s product data:

“We faced an existential challenge. How can we store, manage and update large numbers of products? How can we manage workflows of creating, copywriting, building product data for each product?”

Max turned to Knack to create a custom solution that simplified the entire process.

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Eating our own Dog Food

11/06/2014 Posted by Brandon

A common phrase for software companies is to eat your own dog food.

The basic idea is that if you expect someone to actually pay for your product then your own team better be able to use that product as well. If you won’t eat your own dog food you have no business selling it.

We’re big proponents of this and use Knack every day to help with our work productivity:

  • Project Management: we have a project database we us to track custom jobs, where we manage hours with our timer field and calculate budgets and payments.
  • Marketing Reports: we track all our sign-ups along with some internal information on referrals and other marketing metrics.
  • CRM: we track all our customers including plans, sign-up dates, status and more for quick access and reference.
We recently announced multiple job openings and when considering how we would manage the application process it was a no-brainer to use Knack.

We started with our existing Job Listings example app and tweaked that for our precise needs.

This allowed us to embed the app in our public-facing website so we could list our job descriptions and receive applications. We added a little custom CSS so it matched well with the Knack design:

There’s also an HR login where we can view the applications, add notes and rankings, and track the application process. After emails and interviews we can update each application with notes and comments that everyone can access.

So far the Knack app has worked great as we’ve processed through tons of applications and even made a new hire (hi Nic!).

We’ll continue to post updates on other Knack apps we’re building to help manage our business and how our dog food is tasting.

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Case Study: Great Food Group

10/27/2014 Posted by Brandon

Patrick Albrecht is a restauranteur in Atlanta, GA. He manages two busy restaurants and banquet venues for Great Food Group: Paul’s and Social Vinings.

Of course managing any one business alone is enough for most people, but two? How does Patrick and others like him do it?

“The restaurant industry has always been hesitant to adapt technology, but we’ve found using tech is essential for creating efficiencies,” is how Patrick put it.

Patrick explained that while employing technology leads to efficiencies, deploying multiple solutions can have it’s disadvantages.

“We had too many software services. We needed a single solution that could handle all of it.”

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October Online Database Examples

11/04/2013 Posted by Brandon

It’s the end of another month so let’s list some more examples of the online database apps that have been built with Knack:

  • Bonus Calculator: a manufacturer uses Knack to calculate the weekly bonus allocated to each employee.
  • Studio Manager: a photographer uses Knack for a complete studio management solution for managing clients, jobs, invoices, expenses, and more.
  • Equipment Tracker: a digital media studio uses Knack to track assets for IT hardware and software assigned to employees.
  • Cargo Manager: a shipping agency uses Knack to manage and monitor port access and restrictions and cargo inventories.
  • Project Management: a PR firm uses Knack to manage clients and project deliverables through 3rd party freelancers.
There’s some great apps in that list and we’re always thrilled to see the incredible variety of online databases being built with Knack!

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Welcome GoDaddy Easy Database Users

07/01/2013 Posted by Brandon

GoDaddy recently closed down their oneline database product called Easy Database. We’ve since recieved a bunch of visitors from Easy Database users looking for easy to use alternative online database.

Welcome to Knack!

Knack is a great fit for GoDaddy websites and Easy Database users:

  • Knack apps can be published right to your GoDaddy websites and look great.
  • Knack databases are super easy to set up and use.
  • Our support is world class.
  • You won’t find a better combination of price, features, and usability.

We hope you give Knack a try! And welcome to all of our new customers that have come from GoDaddy Easy Database.

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Knack for Designers

06/22/2013 Posted by Brandon

When we first launched Knack we weren’t exactly sure who our target audience would be. Knack is a flexible product that can be used by anyone to manage all sorts of online databases.

We had some guesses, but we deliberately kept our marketing neutral. We wanted to throw Knack out there and see what happened!

One use case we’ve enjoyed seeing develop is web designers and front-end coders who use Knack to integrate online databases with client websites and their own applications.

In many cases it’s a perfect fit, as designers are able to take advantage of many core Knack functions:

  • Knack apps can be embedded seamlessly right into a website, so designers can add online databases directly to their client websites.
  • Knack apps can be customized with CSS, so designers can control the look and feel of the app. We hear designers love this.
  • Knack apps can be customized with jQuery, so designers can add features and do even more customization of the UI if needed.
  • Designers can set up a special client user roles, so clients can view and update database records without affecting the look and feel of the app.
  • Designers can use the API if they ever need to add special functionality.
The bottom line is Knack enables designers to build online databases and web apps for their clients and still focus on what they do best: the look and the feel.

We’ve created a special page for designers at:

https://knack.com/designers

Know any web designers? Send them to the link above, we’d love to know what they think about Knack!

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Customer Success Stories

05/23/2013 Posted by Brandon

In case you haven’t noticed we launched our new web design last week!

One of our main goals with the new design was to integrate more of our passionate Knack customers. We included some testimonials on our homepage. We also have plans for featured case-studies coming soon.

We’re most excited about our customer success stories. These are short question and answers from Knack customers about what drew them to Knack and how they’re using Knack to build online databases and web apps that solve real problems.

Because Knack can be used for so many different use cases we really like showcasing actual apps our customers are building. We’ll have lots more coming soon.

We want to include you!

To be in an upcoming success story or case study please fill out our customer success form here.

We also want to showcase more tweets, so follow us on twitter and mention @knackhq in a tweet so we can include it on the site.

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Featured Knack Apps: April

04/29/2013 Posted by Brandon

This is the latest entry in a series describing different online databases and web apps being built by Knack users:

  • Plant Database: a forestry network uses Knack for an online database of plants and ecological data in their network.
  • Homeless Information System: A non-profit used Knack for an online system to manage data about local homeless populations
  • Feature Request Management: a software developer uses Knack to solicit and manage feature requests for their software. Developers can convert suggstions into active development.
  • Bike Fitting: a bike shop used Knack to create a bike fit app where customers can come in for measurements and store their all their data online.
  • Realtor Network: a real estate agent used Knack to create a network for agents to list buyers and sellers and search for matches.
As always we’re thrilled to see the variety of custom web apps and online databases bult with Knack every day.

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Featured Web Apps: March

03/25/2013 Posted by Brandon

This is the latest entry in a series describing different online databases and web apps being built by Knack users:

  • Materials Database: A Plastics Engineering company uses Knack for an online database of materials so users can search and download engineerings specs.
  • Price List: A Commodoties Buyer uses Knack to list precious metal prices for their customers using daily changes and equations for different measurements.
  • Recruiting Database: a College uses Knack to manage the recruiting process for football student athletes.
  • Job Placement App: a University Administrator uses Knack to manage a Job Board for students and employers.
  • Advertisement Tracker: a Media Company uses Knack to manage available advertising locations and the customers and revenue generated for each.
We’re still amazed by the variety of custom web apps and online databases we continue to see. This only gets more interesting as we continue to add great features. Can’t wait to see what’s next!

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