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Creating Materials

In the fashion industry, quality is king. Keeping accurate records of materials ensures the elements that make up your products are the exact right level of quality every time. Businesses can often work with hundreds, even thousands of unique materials, and a mistake like ordering the wrong quality of fabric for an order of garments can be a extremely costly mistake. Having a database to accurately identify each and every one of them makes reordering and replenishment a breeze. Using ApparelMagic, you can look up any of the fabrics, trims, or any other material at a glance and see the colors and sizes it’s available in, if you have any inventory on hand or need to buy more, the lead time, and more.

In this lesson, we’ll understand the Materials module of ApparelMagic and create new materials. Use this time to input materials of your own including fabric, buttons, zippers, elastic, or anything else for use in developing a product in the next lesson.

In addition to using Styles to buy and sell finished goods, businesses that manage their own production may use ApparelMagic's capabilities for full visibility of their supply chain, from buying raw materials to costing labor processes. 

In order to use these capabilities, you can add Materials, which are components to be used within finished products.For our example, we'll add fabric to be used later on in finished apparel.Select Products from the navigation bar to begin.

There are two ways to add materials. If you would like to create many new materials, you can import them in bulk. Alternatively, you can create them individually. We will look at importing materials first. Select Inventory from the Products submenu.

Click the Actions button at the bottom of the screen.

Choose Import from the menu.

Click the Download Template button. When it is on your desktop, open the .csv file using Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets to begin working on the import template.

Row 2 of the file contains sample data. You may use this data as reference. Delete the data when you are ready to add information for your materials.

Enter your materials and their associated information, one per row.Vendors must already exist in the system before they may be specified in the vendor_name column.To denote your entry as a material, enter 1 in the is_component field. 

A system administrator should create values in the Settings module for the following fields before they can be specified: attr_2, attr_3, size_range_name, size, and warehouse.

Next, save your .csv file and drag and drop the file into the Upload tab.

You will be brought to the Review tab. Any material with errors will be shown in red with an E in the Error column.Click the materials you entered to view their associated fields.

If all fields look correct, you may import by clicking Import at the bottom of the page.

Confirm your input by clicking Yes on the dialog box.

Click OK to continue.

Go to the Materials page in the Products submenu to see your new material.

This will bring you to the Materials page, listing all available fabrics and trims, including any materials you have imported.Select New on the bottom toolbar to create a materials individually.

In the Style Number field, enter the name you want to use when referencing the material within ApparelMagic. Note it can be alphanumeric.For our example, we will be creating a chino pant for men, so we will add a cotton twill fabric.

Below the Style Number field, you will see two checkboxes for Product and Material. Note that the Material checkbox has been filled. These separate your business's finished products, or Styles, and the materials used to manufacture them.

Next, in the Season field, you may add a season to your material by either selecting an existing season from the drop down menu or adding your own.This is not a required field.

This field, like many others, is a self-creating list, which means that if you type a new option and click Enter, you will be able to select it the next time you'd like to use it.

Using the Collection field, you may add a collection to your material. This field can be used to differentiate between genders or age groups, for example, Men's, Women's, or Children's, or any other type of collection.This is not a required field.

The Category field is often used to describe the product you are adding. We will enter Fabric for this example, but it is also useful to use this field to group materials of the same type, like buttons or zippers.

The Category field is a self-building field, and anything you add here will be saved for use in other materials.This is not a required field.

Many specialized materials can be ordered only through one vendor. Use the Default Vendor field if there is a vendor you typically receive the material from.This is not a required field.

Finally, add a description to the material in the Description field. This description can be an expanded, more detailed material name.This is not a required field.

Once you've entered a description, select Finish to continue.

After completing the Material Information page,we are led to the Overview page. Here, we can enter more information on each material.Using the Origin field, we will enter the material's country of origin.

We will also fill in the Content field with the fiber content of the fabric.

In the Measure field, we will specify that it is measured in yards. Any unit of measure can be added to this field.

Next, we can add images to our material. Simply drag and drop an image from your computer into the field at right.For best results, use larger images at high resolution.Additional images may be added using the + button below the image.

Select the Matrix tab to continue.

On the Matrix tab, you may specify the sizes and colors of the material.Since our product is a fabric measured in yardage, we can use the Size Range menu at top right to select the Fabric size range, which will allow us to select a fabric width.

Please note that Size Ranges must be set up by administrators through Dictionaries in the Settings module.

Note that once the size range is selected, a column header with fabric widths appear. Select New Color to add a color to the material.

Use the drop down menu in the Color field to select a color. Please note that Colors must also be set up by administrators through Dictionaries in the Settings module.Next, fill in one of the checkboxes to specify the fabric width.

Each color has its own Picture field to insert an image. Using the same drag and drop method as on the Overview page, you may add an image of the material color to the matrix.

Next, use the New Color button to add any additional colors to your matrix, following the same steps out lined for the first color.

When you're finished adding colors, click Save at the bottom of the screen.

Note that for materials available in multiple sizes, you can save time by using the All On and All Off buttons. We'll click All On to demonstrate.

Clicking All On makes all available sizes and colors available. Next, we'll demonstrate All Off.

All Off deactivates all colors and sizes.

When we have selected the desired combination of sizes and colors for our material, we'll continue.For our last step setting up a material, we will move on to the Costing tab.

In the Cost field, you may enter how much the material costs (in this case, per yard.)

Note that there are additional fields on the tab.Duty Rate will assign an additional cost based on the Duty from importing the product.Freight will add shipping costs to the product.Finally, the Total Cost will be calculated based on the above costs.

Click Save to finish creating your material.This concludes the ApparelMagic Materials tutorial.Now that we've walked you through creating a material, try it out on your own!

Creating Materials Quiz

1. What is a material?a) Fabricb) Labelsc) Trimsd) All of the above

Answer: d) Materials include all raw materials that go into making finished products.

2. True or False: Materials need to be assigned Default Vendors.

Answer: False. While helpful in many cases, this is an optional field.

3. On the Overview page, what does the Origin field contain?a) The vendor that sells you the materialb) The date of manufacture  c) The country where the material was producedd) None of the above

Answer: d) This field shows the country of origin

4. True or False: Each material can hold only one image.

Answer: False. On the overview page, you can store multiple images. Each color can also have its own image on the matrix page.

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