Design Your Own Matrix Items in ProfitMaker
By Jerry Boland

Jerry BolandWithin ProfitMaker is the ability to design you own data entry for more complex types of items.

T-shirts are a good example of a complex item.  Orders for t-shirts are almost always complex.  Often end-customers want to t-shirts that are over more than one color and many different sizes.  We call this type of item in an order a "matrix" item because the ordering of the item involves a table of information like the one below:

  Small Medium Large
Green 3 5 7
Blue 5 8 10
Red 7 8 9

A matrix is a table that consists of two key data elements. In the example above they are "size" and "color". They also could be other rows and columns depending on the type of item your selling. A trophy might have "figurine" and a "style" that you can pick from.

These matrixes help better communicate the specific details of an item so that you make sure the customer gets what they actually want. Matrixes also help pick the right quantities of items are shipped for more complex orders.

ProfitMaker contains the ability to let you design your own Matrix. These matrixes can be used in order entry, billing, and credit memo areas of ProfitMaker to increase the power and effeciency you deliver to your customers.  Read one to find out how you can create your own matrixes.

Getting Started

For the purpose of explaining, we will use "size" and "color".  You can create custom matrix windows for any type of common items where the primary difference is size and colors.  Items such as dress shirts, slacks, shoes, women sizing, youths and even flashlights can be created with matrix functionality. Note: An item master is not required to use the matrix function.

Matrix MenuTo begin using the matrix functionality will require the creation of a Matrix Size, Color and ID master records. All of these maintenance programs related to the Matrix are located in (Tree View Menu) Inventory, Maintenance, Matrix or Masters/Codes, Maintenance, Inventory, Matrix menus or (Graphics Menu) Inventory, Templates.

Color Category Maintenance
Used to assign color categories and a long description of the category.

Color Code Maintenance
Used to define a three character color code that corresponds to 10 character short description. The short description is used for the matrix display and matrix printing processes.

Color Code Maintenance

Size Code Maintenance
Used to define a two character size code that corresponds to a 10 character short description. The short description is used for the matrix display and matrix printing processes.

Edit Size Code

Matrix ID Maintenance
Used to bring both data elements (size and color) together and create the user defined matrix window. Matrix ID is the primary identifier of the master record. A lookup by either the matrix’s ID or the description is available.

Color and size groups provide a complete listing of possible Color and Size Codes that have been previously defined. The operator then selects and moves the specific color and size codes to be used for this matrix ID over to the right hand portion of each group. This begins the mapping process with the results displayed as they are made in real time. You may move your specific selection up and down in the lists to control the sequence of how they are displayed on the window. Once you have created your matrix ID you can assign that code to the item master(s) by editing or creating new item master records. Order entry will allow input of the matrix ID in order to enter quantities for the various colors/sizes.

Setup Your Items to Use the New Matrix.

In order to use a matrix you have created, you will need to assign a matrix ID on each item that uses the matrix. This is accomplished in the Item Masters.  Note: If you are planning on stocking inventory by item and/or color and a unique item number is required for each combination, it is not recommended to enter a matrix ID code in these situations. Otherwise, if the item is a drop ship item type, the use of a matrix ID is recommended, if applicable (product is offered in multiple sizes and/or colors).


Using the New Matrix in Order Entry

When adding a new line item in Order Entry, the matrix ID can be entered and upon continue, the “Matrix qty” button will be enabled. Note: The qty fields will not be enabled when a matrix ID exists on the order. You must select the “Matrix qty” to add, edit or delete the quantity information.

Upon completion of the matrix quantities select Ok. The total quantity ordered will be updated to the line item edit window and you may continue to edit any other information on the line item window as normal.


Matrixes in Billing and Reporting

During billing, the matrix window will allow entry of the quantity shipped and back ordered. Double click on each quantity cell to bring up the edit window to enter those values. This only needs to be done if the quantity shipped values are different than ordered. When back orders are created for matrix items, the line item will retain the matrix detail related to the back ordered item.

Printed Documents will print matrix details when the line item contains a matrix ID. This affects all plies of the forms created from printing orders and invoices.

Combined Purchasing Analysis allows viewing and combining of quantities for multiple orders into a matrix.

Open Orders Report allows you to print the matrix details for a line item. This information will print below the actual line item and will include the quantities for each size and color.

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