Quick Start Guide

Lesson 8:

Creating a Matrix

User Manual Chapters to Read

Topic: Creating a New XpertMartrix

Other Resources
Create New Style Video
Items Catalog Video
Cheat Sheet: How to Crete a Style
Cheat Sheet: How to Create an Item
Support FAQ: Data Cleanup


Now that you understand how to create Items in the Items Catalog one at a time, it's time to learn a shortcut that will really speed up the data entry process.

The first thing you'll want to learn how to do is create a Size Matrix that you can reuse every time you are creating a Style that uses the same sizes. For example, you might want to create a Size Matrix for the sizes: Small, Medium, Large, X-Large. Since these are popular size runs it will save you the time of having to specify these sizes every time you create a new Style.

Let's create our first Size Matrix. Go to Catalogs>Items>Size Matrix. Click on New Record and give the Size Matrix a name. You can call it whatever you want (such as Mens Shoes or Ladies Pants) but make sure you include the sizes in the name so you don't get confused later on. (For example: Mens Shoes 6-11).

Now click on the MatrixAdd button which is the matrix that has the red plus sign on it. On the left you'll see a list of every size in your Sizes Catalog. You may have to back up and go to the Sizes Catalog to add sizes if you don't see them already there. Pick the sizes you want to use and then click save.

You should try to make as few Size Matrices as needed. For example, you do not need to make separate matrices for S,M,L and S,M,L,XL and S,M,L,XL,XXL. You can just have one matrix (S,M,L,XL,XXL) and only use selected sizes from that matrix for certain Styles.

Now that you've created a Size Matrix let's go into the Styles Catalog and create a new Style that will use that matrix. Add all of the information you are used to adding in this catalog and then click Save. Go to the Size Matrix embedded catalog on the left and selected the Size Matrix you created from the drop-down menu.

Next, click on the MatrixAdd button on the toolbar. A new window will open up. On the left you will see every color you've entered in to the Colors Catalog. When you select a color you will see the matrix being built on the bottom using the sizes that belong to the Size Matrix you've selected. Hold down the Ctrl key to select more than one color at a time.

Each checkbox in the matrix represents a possible item. Checking a box means an entry will automatically be created for you in the Items Catalog. If you want to select an entire row or column at once, move the mouse to the row or column header and right-click to get  menu. Choose Check All. When you are done press OK. At that point the entries are added to the Items Catalog.

When you are done building your matrix, click on the Matrix button on the toolbar. You'll see the matrix you've just created. Click Save.

Now go the Items Catalog and do a Query for the Style you just created. You should see an entry for every size/color combination you checked. Scroll through these.

Go back to the Styles Catalog and create a new entry, this time for a Style that has multiple items, each with a different price and cost. Follow all of the steps outlined above to create the new Style, only this time do not check the Price/Cost to Items checkbox.

Instead, click on the matrix button that has the green dollar sign on it. This will allow you to enter the prices of each style in a matrix, which should save you some time. Note that you will still need to enter the cost of each item manually in the Items Catalog.

Using the Size Matrix and MatrixAdd buttons to automatically create entries in the Items Catalog will save you a lot of time during data entry.

The next step is to enter all of your Styles and Items into the database. A little planning will go a long way. The best approach is to map out all of your merchandise and come up with a system to make sure you enter everything. For example, you can proceed by vendor, doing one vendor at a time, or by department or you can divide your store/warehouse space into sections and go that way. Pick a method where you can use the Copy function to cut down on data entry so you don't have to keep entering the same information over and over again.

As you are creating Styles and Items go ahead and create entries for all possible sizes and colors, even if you do not have them in stock initially. This will save you from having to circle back to the Items Catalog to create a new entry when you do receive a shipment of a color or size you hadn't gotten before.

Be careful using the Size Matrix tool. Do not blindly create unnecessary Items. If a Style is only available from the Vendor in S, M, L do not create entries of XL and XXL just because it's faster to check off an entire row. Over time this will grow the size of your database and potentially slow things down.

OK, now get to work.

The Matrix that displays on-hand stock "pulls" information two ways: from the checkboxes using the MatrixAdd tool AND from any entry created in the Items Catalog. If you use the MatrixAdd tool to create entries for S,M,L and later you go to the Items Catalog and manually create an entry for XL you will see all four of these Items in the Matrix.

Note that once you create an Item you cannot every delete it. If you've create Items going to the MatrixAdd tool and unchecking a size/color box will NOT undelete this item.

Adding an extra size to a preexisting Size Matrix will NOT add this size to every Style that uses this Size Matrix. You will need to add that Item (if that's what you want to do) by either using the MatrixAdd tool or adding a new record in the Items Catalog.

If along the way you've made some mistakes and have some messed-up Matrices, read the Support FAQ linked above for guidance on how to fix them.

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