How do I use the Matrix feature?

PayGo users who sell clothing, shoes, or any other good with multiple sizes and colors will save huge amounts of time on data entry with the new and improved matrix tool.

Introduction:
The matrix tool in PayGo 4.x has been vastly overhauled from previous versions, making mass creation of items easier than ever. It serves as an extremely quick and automated way to create items of various combinations of size or color, as is the case commonly with clothing, shoes, or many other retail goods.

For this demonstration, we will be creating items for two kinds of socks. Both are of the SoftSox brand/model name, but one is a cotton sock and one is a wool sock. Both socks come in Short, Midcalf, and Tube sizes. The cotton sock comes in white, grey, and black. However, the wool sock only comes in grey and black.

The ideas being expressed in this article are difficult to describe and understand when generic terms are used, thus, an explicit example is being used. It is recommended that to avoid cluttering your system with fake data, you perform this procedure with your own data, paralleling the article as it goes along.

Definitions:
Matrix: A generated array of sizes and colors of an item of a given style.

Matrix Template/Definition: A user made set of ‘default’ sizes and colors that may be applied to an item to create a Matrix for that item.

Matrix Master Item: An item from which a matrix is created. This item’s information is what is copied to matrix items when they are created. This actual item itself is not utilized for much else, as in practice, the matrix items created for it contain this item’s useful data.

Matrix Items: Items that are created as part of a matrix. These inventory records are essentially the same as any other, however they have been generated automatically by the matrix tool.

Setting up and defining a Matrix:
To begin, hit New Inventory from the main menu.

Name your item ‘SoftSox’, and enter in all other item information as applicable. Enter Cotton into the Style field.

Once information for your item is entered in on the Information tab of the Inventory Quick Add Screen, click over to the Matrix Tool Tab. Click New Matrix to create a Matrix Template for this item.

You will be prompted for a name for this Matrix. For this demo, we’ll enter Sock Matrix. The Define Matrix screen will now pop up. This screen is where you will enter the sizes and types you would like your matrix items to be created from, as well as a default collection of size and color combinations to be created in to inventory.

Begin by entering the sizes in the top row of the Sizes box, starting from the left. You should now have Short, Midcalf, and Tube in the first three fields. Note that for large quantities of sizes, there are two rows of sizes to make use of.

Once sizes have been entered, you can move on to entering in the colors, or types that you would like to make use of in this matrix. In this example, these colors are our white, grey, and black socks. Enter in a single color in the lone field on the left of the portal. When the name is complete, click out of the field or hit the numpad’s Enter key to commit the record. An array of Sizes and Styles will be populated as more values are entered. After you have entered the first color (white), you can enter additional colors in the new rows that will appear when the color is committed. Note that the values show in the array are truncated to their first four letters. The values shown in the table are not the ones that will be applied to items; they are shortened to fit on the interface. The items will get the original data. For example, a ‘Small Black’ sock might be shown as ‘Smal-Blac’ on the matrix screen, but ‘Small’ and ‘Black’ will be placed in in the inventory record.

With our sizes and colors entered, we can select the items that we would like to have created by default on this template. Since we’re going to be using this template on two items, we will choose these items according to what they have in common. The cotton socks will be available in all three sizes and all three colors. The wool socks are available in all three sizes but only the grey and black colors. Because of this, we’ll only check the boxes for all sizes of grey and black socks on this template. This selection can be changed later, checking boxes now will only save you from having to arbitrarily recheck them. With the template now complete, you can hit close and return to the Inventory Quick Add Screen.

Back on the Quick Add screen with the Matrix Tool tab selected, we can now select our Matrix Template to apply. From the dropdown, select the Sock Matrix. Our sizes, colors, and checks that we did earlier are now brought up. Since we’re on the item for Cotton socks, and we did not select the White colors and sizes earlier, check the three boxes of the top row of the array. If everything is complete, hit the Create Items button.

On the Inventory List Add Screen that will popup, the items that were selected for creation can be found. All information seen on this screen is editable, so enter or alter as necessary. When all necessary changes have been made, hit Save List to commit all items to inventory.

With all sizes and styles of the cotton socks created, we can now create the wool socks. After the inventory from the cotton socks has been saved from the List Entry Screen, the Inventory Quick Add Screen for the Matrix Master item of the cotton socks will come up. Hit the Duplicate button to duplicate the item. Alter any information that needs to be changed for the wool sock (Vendor information, Pricing, UPC, ordering units, etc.), and then enter ‘Wool’ into the style field. When everything is well on this screen, go over to the Matrix Tool tab. The matrix settings from the cotton sock item should still be shown. Uncheck the boxes for the items with a White color. Then press Create Items. Repeat the process from the previous item to enter any information for the different sizes as necessary. You have just created six complete new items in a very short amount of time, with a minimum of manual data input!

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