Building a data reporting tool for agriculture

How an agricultural cooperative used no-code tools to digitize their manual processes for data collection. Featuring Airtable, Bubble, Supabase, and WeWeb.
Image of a field

The Context

SeineYonne is an agricultural cooperative founded in 2008.

It counts 148,263 acres of wheat, 91,429 acres of barley, and 84,015 acres of rapeseed.

For a long time, all their data reporting was done manually. Representatives would visit each parcel, write down the type and quantities of products produced, and report back to HQ to log the information manually into Airtable.

This process was ineffient and prone to error.

In 2019, SeineYonne started digitizing this process. They hired a freelancer to build a Bubble UI on top of the data in Airtable. That way, people working at each parcel could report the data remotely.

Unfortunately, this process created issues of its own.

The Problems They Faced

The web app built with Bubble and Airtable was unsatisfactory for both SeineYonne's tech team and end-users.

Performance - Users were unhappy because the app was too slow. It caused delays that created errors in the database. The app was supposed to save them time but it was having the opposite effect.

Inefficient - Nobody on the team was comfortable using Bubble. They found it hard to work with and often needed external support from freelancers, slowing down things further.

Costs - The downside of relying on freelancers meant that, every time they wanted to make an improvement, it was hard to predict how long it would take and how much it would cost.

Part of the reason the Airtable/Bubble integration didn't perform well is because the Airtable base had gotten very complex over a long period of time.

Still, SeineYonne wasn't ready to migrate away from Airtable at this point and needed to find a solution

The Solutions They Considered

From experience, Ludovic knew that finding and hiring a developer to build the app within budget would be close to impossible.

He explored three options to improve the digital data reporting process.

  1. Pay a web agency
  2. Hire another Bubble expert
  3. Build with other no-code tools

He evaluated each solution against a clear set of criteria:

  • Feature coverage - Does the tool have the features SeineYonne needs?
  • Performance - Does the POC perform well? Is the database updated correctly?
  • Ease of use - How easy is it to use? Will his team be autonomous?
  • Sustainability - Is the team behind the solution capable and reliable?

Why They Chose WeWeb

1- Pay a web agency

Ludovic talked to web agencies, asked them for their opinion on the best solutions to build web-apps with no-code, and evaluated whether they could do the job for him.

In the end, he found that hiring an agency would be too expensive and wouldn't solve the autonomy issue of his team.

2- Hire another Bubble expert

Ludovic hired a new Bubble expert to debug the existing tool and improve its performance. At that point, a lot of the app had to be re-built from scratch. ‍

In the end, the second version of the Bubble app was still short in performance and autonomy continued to be an issue.

Every time the team wanted to make an improvement, it was hard to predict how long it would take and how much it would cost.

3- Test other no-code tools

In order to find a solution to these problems, Ludovic tried and reviewed a number of other no-code platforms like WeWeb, DronaHQ, Retool, StackerHQ, and Softr.

He felt that:

  • Retool was too complex for his team,
  • DronaHQ was promising but short on features, and
  • StackerHQ and Softr were not customizable enough.

WeWeb satisfied all four pre-defined criteria:

  • Feature coverage - It had most of the features SeineYonne needed and seemed able to deliver the rest on schedule.
  • Performance - The app was fast and reliable. There were no more lagging and data conflicts.
  • Ease of use - The SeineYonne team were quickly autonomous to build and maintain the app.
  • Sustainability - The WeWeb team were very supportive and quick to answer whenever SeineYonne had questions.

  • WeWeb

also satisfied a fifth criteria that wasn't top of mind at the beginning of the project but was starting to grow in importance.

The v2 of the Airtable + Bubble app was still performing poorly despite the time and finances invested in optimizing it. What if SeineYonne needed to restructure their database or integrate Bubble with another database?

How much time and money would that cost?

With decoupling at the heart of WeWeb's vision, Ludovic bet it was the right solution for SeineYonne's long-term vision.

Nine Months After Choosing WeWeb

WeWeb delivered on its promises.

Speed

The new FarmPilot web app was delivered within three months, right on time.

Autonomy

The SeineYonne team can deploy weekly improvements without having to hire a new developer, agency or freelancer.‍‍

Productivity

End-users have gained in productivity – mission accomplished for Ludovic!

Scalability

SeineYonne are no longer reliant on Airtable. They can connect any external backend and add multiple data sources in WeWeb.

In fact, they are about to release a new version of FarmPilot, using Supabase as their database and authentication system.

What our customers say

I never thought that I could build something like this. I was always worried about security, and database design, and API calls… all of that stuff seemed super complex to me. WeWeb has given me the ability to build something in a visual format that naturally feels very good to me.

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Kevin Wasie
Business owner at Exactly

As a no-code agency, we chose WeWeb for the frontend part for our clients because the Editor is simple enough to enable our clients to maintain the product by themselves, and flexible enough that we can add custom CSS or Vue.js components if we need to.

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Frédéric Marianne
Co-founder & CTO at Gaspach.io

Bubble offers more features but WeWeb’s philosophy (only the front-end) is a good / the best option in my opinion. The end result is cleaner, faster, closer to code.

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Patrice Cassard
2x founder with 7 figure exits

I’ve been incredibly impressed by the platform’s power, versatillity, and intuitiveness. I think I’ve tried just about every no/low-code app builder out there, and WeWeb was the one I had been looking for.

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Kyan Lynch
CEO at ALOE Digital Solutions

The no-code lookup function is pure art! I never thought I would ever say this but the changelog newsletter is a bit like Santa sending me back the wishlist I sent him but with crossed out items.

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Maxence Pautre
Freelance no-code project manager

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