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What are NetSuite Matrix Items and How They Can Help You Sell?

Brett Ames , October 21, 2020


“...our client sought to carefully model the item database to drive their operational product management.  With the use of NetSuite...we were able to craft a more flexible matrix model.”

-Prolecto Resources

Many NetSuite manufacturing customers sell items that are defined by differentiating attributes. These attribute types might be differentiating colors, sizes, lengths, memory size or any other qualities that differ based on buyers’ needs. For these customers, NetSuite’s matrix items functionality is an ideal feature to leverage in order to help customers quickly and easily sell. 

Verenia is the only CPQ that is 100% native to NetSuite, so it works out of the box with NetSuite’s matrix item capabilities, like it does with all of NetSuite’s solutions, without any third-party software or integration costs. If you sell configurable products, Verenia for NetSuite transforms a slow, manual, error-prone buying process into a streamlined, simple and B2C-type buying experience.

Matrix items are ideal when items are sold with different options, which reside under each attribute type. So the Attribute, “Size” might be sold with the Options, “Small”, “Medium”, “Large” and “Extra Large” .  The most typical example that is used is a shirt that is available in different colors and sizes but Matrix items can be used to define and sell any product that is sold with different options. E.g., a given CPU might offer the Attribute = “Microprocessor Type”, Options = “CISC”, “RISC”, “ASIC”, “Superscalar”, or “Digital Signal Microprocessors”.  Matrix items provide benefits that simplify the process for users and improves data accuracy, whether the options are simple or extremely technical.

NetSuite’s matrix items provide a simplified way of entering and managing items within NetSuite. Matrix items can be created at once by creating a Parent Item. Parent Items contain most of the information about the item, e.g., Tee Shirt or CPU, including description, name, etc. Then there will be Child Matrix Items representing each unique variation based on the Options chosen by the end buyer. 

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Each of the Child Items can have fields overriding the parent's value and each Child needs to have its own unique SKUs selecting the options and letting the NetSuite system create the subitems.  This ensures standard numbering/naming among items while still maintaining the option to customize display names.  Standard information such as expense and revenue accounts only have to be entered once and stays the same for all items in the Parent/Children relationship.

If you offer Ecommerce, matrix items enhance your Customer Experience and make it easier for buyers to select and buy.  Matrix items appear as one item in the webstore.  At the item level the customer can then pick the options that are available for that item.  This allows the customer to quickly and easily view all the options available and purchase an item.

After the items are created, the matrix relationship continues to improve efficiency and data integrity.  Entering data at the parent item can be pushed down to the subitems to ensure certain data stays consistent between the items.  Individual sub items can be edited as well for item specific information such as description or price.

Matrix items also make transaction processing and reporting more efficient.  The parent item cannot be transacted against, ensuring only the correct, specific child items are purchased or sold.  Even though the parent item cannot be transacted against it does appear in reports to group the Child items sold.  This allows for grouping of the items so that you can easily compare the sales of the different options and quickly see the total for all items in the matrix relationship.

Verenia CPQ fully supports and enhances NetSuite’s Matrix Item functionality. Multiple combinations of these characteristics are stored in the form of matrices and shown to sales reps or clients as a simple drop-down list within Verenia’s industry leading Configurator. 

The result is that your team can manage various combinations (e.g., size or color) of the same item in a single matrix as your options change with market demand and expanding breadth of options offered. Pricing, inventory status, and description management of matrix items are simplified. Both customers and sales representatives are enabled, allowing them to quickly identify item combinations. Matrix items can also be seamlessly integrated into your NetSuite SuiteCommerce/Verenia CPQ webstore solution to simplify selection and purchasing.


Tags: Ecommerce, CPQ, Verenia, NetSuite, Manufacturing, Manufacturers, Matrix Items

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See how your organization can increase sales, reduce costs and differentiate your brand by using Verena's CPQ and CRM solutions
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