Going beyond the Dark Stack with connected Apps

Going beyond the Dark Stack with connected Apps
Image Credit: Lokad Planning Software for Ecommerce brands.

The Dark Stack is where 80% of the work gets done. Slack channels, Google Sheets, Excel files, and Powerpoint reports.

It results in meeting overload, hiring admin roles, rework, delayed decisions, and Slack or Teams becoming a dumping ground.

The popular solution has been to implement an all-encompassing system of record with all your data in it.


You will be asked to invest in specialist software for each team, and as the number of specialist systems grows, you'll need help with your data. This is where operators will start to pine for an ERP to centralise your data and make everything easier.

The legacy solution to this problem has been implementing a monolithic ERP and attaching specialist systems to it in a hub and spoke model. Conveniently the ERP often has a preferred partner for each specialist software type; however, increasingly, they still need the latest innovations.

Introducing a monolithic ERP creates additional costs and complexity in a business. It should be implemented when the business is mature enough to fix its operating model and processes.

ERP implementations fail to get to the dark stack within businesses and, in most cases, increase the amount of work being done with data to reformat it and service the data model in the ERP.

I'm not for or against ERP. Your business is not a bathrobe; every company needs to make decisions. I am for leveraging more than an ERP to drive operational efficiency.


We've been implementing tech roadmaps that combine the best specialist software and leverage Airtable's connected app platform to streamline their operational workflows.

Airtable is built for creating apps for Product, Supply Chain, and Marketing workflows. Most Founders and Operators have not heard of Airtable because businesses between £1M and £100M have been left to product-led growth. You sign up online and grow from there.

96% of Netflix employees use Airtable.

Nike uses Airtable to manage their product launch campaigns globally.

Outdoor Voices uses Airtable across the whole product workflow from ideation to launch.

Why not your brand?


🔑 Centralise information to remove siloes and make it easy to share information.

📅 Fewer, better, shorter meetings.

💰 Eliminate data entry and admin roles.

🔮 Create a single source of truth across cross-functional processes, e.g. How is the product launch looking?

⏳ New starters can get onboard faster and find the information they need to do their jobs without decoding a complex web of inconsistent excel files.

👁️ You can make your team want to gain an Enterprise perspective rather than thinking vertically about only their team's performance.

💡Better decision-making because the team have more time to evaluate information.

Whether you have an ERP or Inventory Management System, think you need to change yours or are planning on implementing one, your takeaway is that you should consider how your Dark Stack will be impacted. We are seeing great results from using Airtable's Connected App platform to fill the gaps they leave behind.

- Thanks, Oliver

Oliver Rhodes

Oliver Rhodes