Setting up Matrices
We are a new user to Lightspeed, migrating from another POS. We have experimented with policies to set up matrices. We are a specialized apparel retailer. Our initial strategy was to set up a matrix for each vendor item so a matrix would be for example, a shirt with Color and Size attributes. We want to add images of products though and this would be either adding a specific color item at the matrix level, or adding images to each color/size item meaning a lot of duplicated images.
So, we decided to create a matrix for each vendor item/color with only size attributes which means we can associate the relevant color to the matrix. The issue I have is it's less intuitive and there's a lot more matrices. I suppose this would create an issue if we want to add the ecomm feature which we are thinking about, but there's another issue for that decision.
I'm torn since within Lightspeed retail, it seems that all management of inventory is done at an item level (POS search, PO creation). You can't select a matrix then select attributes (like we're used to with our old POS). Lightspeed's search is very good so in the end it doesn't seem to matter. The item names are about the same and the search capability is the same with either matrix setup. So the matrix setup doesn't seem to matter. The only value I can see is to support the ecomm feature, exceptionalities to make it easier to change matrix wide attributes like price.
Does anyone have any thoughts here ? It would be very useful if you could add a matrix to a PO and then select the attributes but Lightspeed doesn't seem to work that way.
As for the ecomm feature, I guess it needs a matrix and attributes to drive the web site. Attributes show up in the web site. Our complication is that our web site sells decorated items eg a logo for a specific organization with specific color choices of standard products. For ecomm to work for us, we'd need a matrix with color, size and maybe logo, Or we'd have a logo product with color/size attributes so the customer doesn't actually have to choose a logo - it's a standard part of that product. The issue then becomes inventory management. We need to manage inventory at a "blank" level no matter the logo used. We have this issue with the commerce system we use today and we had this issue with our old system but we are thinking there must be a better solution with Lightspeed but have't found it yet. Perhaps this becomes a tangent discussion but we have experimented with assemblies. In conceptual terms, we would build assemblies for each logo'd product eg shirt with logo1 and shirt with logo 2, using the same base products. I think we could create base items and then assemblies for each logo version of the base product, then create a "logo product matrix" of the applicable logo versions of the same product.
This doesn't seem to completely solve the inventory problem since it seems you still have to manage inventory at the item level. I mean that if you sell an assembly, inventory is still managed at the assembly level and so we'd have to manually "create" assemblies that would then move inventory from the base product to the assembly. Not perfect but better than we have now which is basically to manually reenter online orders into the retail system.
Perhaps your eyes are now rolling into your head but I'd appreciate feedback on
1) Matrix setup strategies
2) Experience with managing inventory using assemblies.