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How and when should I use matrixes for setting up size and color inventory items?
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    How and when should I use matrixes for setting up size and color inventory items?

    by RetailEdge Moderator » Tue Feb 23, 2010 11:26 am

    RetailEdge can create and track size and color for inventory items. This is what the program refers to as matrixes and matrix items. Creating matrix items in your inventory to track size/color etc. can provide you with useful information about your inventory and also help you see more quickly "holes" in your inventory sizing runs.

    However, inventory matrixes can be complicated to create and you should take your time when determining whether you should use matrix items in your inventory. You can create a lot of useless data and add a large number of inventory items that you don't really need very quickly with this feature so you need to be careful when using the feature.

    Detailed information about how to create a matrix definition and sized inventory item is included in the manual and program help but here is some additional information that might help.

    A few questions to ask yourself before using matrixes are:

    1. Are you going to be carrying the full matrix (all sizes and colors) of items? If you are only going to be carrying one size or color, it might be easier to just create the one or two items you are going to carry rather than creating a matrix for all potential colors and or sizes.

    2. Are the sized items you going to have many different price points? If you have items that are sized that have very different costs and prices, you are going to have to spend some time adjusting costs and prices after creating the matrix items. This will increase the amount of time that it takes to input the matrix items initially and on reorders.

    3. Are you going to be using the UPC as your stock number or using the UPC labels on the items for scanning? If you are using a UPC as a stock number (instead of the UPC1 or UPC2 fields in the inventory), you can't use the matrix feature. Also if you are using UPC fields to allow you use the UPC label on the items, then you are going to be spending extra time editing these items to enter the different codes with each item.

    Listed below are some of the advantages and disadvantages of using matrixes:

    Advantages

    1. Allows you to see inventory quantities for all items in a particular matrix quickly by pressing the Quantity tab on the Matrix Parent item.

    2. You can more quickly add a group of items to a purchase order or receiving by entering quantities on a matrix (size/color) grid.

    3. You can use the matrix parents in packages and create packages that allow you to select different size sizes for items at the time of sale.

    4. You can print barcode labels for matrix parents. This may save time when physically tagging items as you only have one label to tag all sizes and color items. Items tagged with matrix parent tags will prompt the sales person to select the proper size and color item.

    Disadvantages

    1. Does not work well for items with dissimilar costs and prices.

    2. Can conflict with Vendor styles. Some vendors might track colors but you don't care about tracking colors or vice versa.

    3. Can create large number of inventory items that you will never have in your inventory.

    4. Does not work if you are using a UPC for the item's stock number.

    RetailEdge supports a three dimensional matrix. This mean that you can have an X (horizontal) and a Y (vertical) dimension for your matrix, and a Z third dimension. These dimensions can be anything thing you want (i.e., size and color, waist and inseam). Dimension 1 contains the matrix items that will be viewed across the top (X dimension), Dimension 2 contains the matrix items that will be viewed vertically (Y Dimension) and Dimension 3 will be available as a drop down parameter. When creating matrix definitions with numeric sizes, prefacing single digit matrix dimensions with a zero can provide a better sort order in the inventory (02, 04, 06, 08 etc.).
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