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Keystroke Matrix
(4-Dimensional Grid)

The Keystroke Matrix feature tracks the variations of inventory items using up to four-dimensional matrices. Each dimension (Matrix Category) may represent different sizes, colors, styles, or other criteria. Using this grid-like system, data for similar items can be created and stored under a single identifying record (Keystroke Stock Number).

The Keystroke Matrix is commonly used to simplify the management of soft goods inventory such as clothing and shoes. It can be used with any type of inventory requiring variation tracking (such as nuts and bolts which can vary by length/thread/head/etc).

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Matrix Features

Up to 4 dimensions (e.g., Size/Color/Style/Length).

Multiple elements per dimension (allows for millions of unique Matrix items under a single inventory record).

Purchase/sell by individual or multiple items.

Variable Matrix fields - optionally specify unique Product Code, Description, Cost and/or, price per grid item (e.g., higher price for extra large sizes).

Matrix Item Codes - The system automatically generates a unique identifying code based on the selected Element (e.g., Red-32) from each Matrix Category (Dimension, e.g., color/size).

Track higher cost/price for individual items (e.g., XXL sizes).

Multiple display modes - select from Grid, Side by Side List, or Cascading List for selecting Matrix items on transactions and inquiries.

NOTE: Keystroke Matrix management (create, edit, delete) is available only with Keystroke Advanced POS. Matrix usage is supported by Keystroke Point Of Sale (but must be managed with an Advanced POS license).

Why and when to use the Keystroke Matrix

Consider the following situation:

A business sells items (such as clothing) that come in a variety of sizes, colors and styles. If each size/color/style combination were set up as a separate inventory record, the inventory database may appear cluttered with similarly described items. Clerks would be faced with a very long list of bewilderingly similar items to choose from when ringing up a sale. Purchasing these items might also become unnecessarily complicated, requiring the entry of a separate line item for each variety of an Inventory item that is ordered, even if all of the varieties share the same Product Code, Description and other basic information.

The Matrix Manager allows for the use of a single record in the Inventory database which represents the core item. A Matrix Table is then attached to that Inventory item. The Matrix Table instantly expands the item to encompass a variety of sizes, colors, styles, etc.

Each Matrixed Inventory item is assigned a Matrix Table, through which data is stored for each unique item defined in the Matrix. This may include a unique Product Code, Quantity On-Hand, Order Quantity, Cost, and even Price for each size/color combination. Information not specified for each unique item will default to the data stored on the main Matrixed Inventory record. Item Matrices can be displayed in three different formats (Grid, Side by Side List, or Cascading List). These formats can be toggled to switch between these different views, or to switch the order in which the Categories appear.

When a Matrixed item is sold or purchased,  the Matrix provides the ability to select the appropriate variety from a grid (or a set of lists, depending on how the Matrix view is configured). When selling or purchasing different varieties of the same item, the quantities can quickly be entered on a grid, instead of having to be selected individually from an Inventory list.

The Keystroke Matrix is ideal for items of clothing or shoes that are made by the same Manufacturer, have the same price and UPC, and vary only in size, color, design, style, etc. Even if there are some variations in price or if each variety has a different UPC, a Matrix can still be useful.

The Keystroke Matrix isn’t just for clothes and shoes – it can also be used to keep track of flavors, screw thread sizes, thicknesses, wire gauges, vintages, or other characteristics. A Matrix can be used for bolts, screws, nails or similar items, which may differ in length, diameter, head size and head style. However, it’s also important to consider when it makes good sense to use a Matrix Table and how diverse to make a single Matrix Table.

The following questions can help determine whether a Matrix Table is appropriate for a particular set of Inventory items.

1. Can each of the items in a set be identified by a single product Description?

Yes - probably a good candidate for a Matrix Table.

No - probably not a good candidate for a Matrix Table.

2. Do all (or most) of the items in a set share the same cost, price and vendor?

Yes - probably a good candidate for a Matrix Table. Even if the cost or price of some items varies (such as for smaller or larger sizes), a single Matrix Table can probably still be used.

No - probably not a good candidate for a Matrix Table. Consider grouping the items into several sets. For example; instead of using a single core Inventory record for all screws, set up a different item for brass screws, stainless steel screws, etc. It may also make sense to break that down even further by head style (i.e., countersink versus, round head, etc.).

3. How many varieties of each item will you be selling?

If there are just a few, it may be easier to enter them as individual Inventory records rather than using a Matrix.

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