@brandfluencer - Depending on your pick/pack process, there are apps that allow for additional properties to be captured for a product that do not count against the 100 variant limit:
The caveat with this approach is that you will not be able to capture the SKU's in the default "SKU" field in the variant setup. If you use the SKU for pick/pack, this may not work. If you use product name and/or attributes to pick/pack, you should be good to go (ie. could list all colors as properties and the sizes as variants).
Hope this helps you bottom out on a path forward.
use this app
solve a problem
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@brandfluencer - There is no work-around for the 100 variant limit. If there was, we would have recommended that and not the unlimited options app. Assuming you heard this from Shopify as well which is why you are soliciting free advice from the forum.
When soliciting free advice from developers that spend their little bit of free time trying to help the Shopify community, not accepting answers and just yelling at Shopify in all caps does not solve your issue (which I assume is your end goal). Again, there is no work-around and no level of coding that can circumnavigate the code that Shopify's exposes to developers.
You could also have a "Private App" developed that would tap into Shopify's robust API and could be tailored to your needs (ie. create a standalone variant database with a front-end UX that would allow for inventory control). Private apps in general are not cheap due to the need for DevOp's management so we recommend SMB's steer clear of these unless it is essential to the business. In your scenario, you may want to explore this and will find several app dev's that could accommodate.
Hope this helps as opposed to eliciting a negative comment.