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On Order – Clearing Phantom Orders

Sometimes you may come across an item shown as “on order” when there is no open purchase order for it. When a purchase order is posted, several files are updated with information from that purchase order. One of those files is the Open PO file. This file shows the residual quantity of items that have been placed on order. When received, the quantity is reduced by the quantity received until the residual quantity is zero. The purchase order item is then removed from the Open Orders file. When a purchase order is posted, the items are added to the Open PO file. If later the PO is removed without being received, the items in the Open Orders file become phantom, meaning that they do not have a matching un-received purchase order.This tech note will lead you through the process of eliminating the Phantom Orders.

NOTE: Make a Backup of your database before deleting information.

  • Identify the phantom orders. The easiest way to identify phantom orders is to create a report in Define A Report that shows all items in the Open Orders file that do not have matching purchase orders. To do this:
    • Open Define A Report by launching Inventory, clicking on the Reports >> Define A Report.
    • Click on the box next to File: and select Open PO Items.
    • Select the Order ID, Item ID, and Quantity fields by highlighting these fields in the left box. Click the >>Copy>> button to copy each to the right box.
    • Change the Links file (the box above the available fields box) from Open PO Items to Proc P O.
    • Select the Order ID field and click >>Copy>> to copy it to the right box for the report.
    • Use Select If to limit the display to only those items without a Processed Purchase Order ID. You can use the “Select If” feature in Define A Report and select only those Open PO items that have a blank Processed Purchase Order ID. To do this:
      • Click the Select If button to change the file to Processed Purchase Orders. A screen will appear.
      • Select the Order ID field for the formula.
      • Then type in =””. This will select only the IDs that are blank (Remember that phantom items do not have a Processed PO to match. Therefore, the IDs will be blank).
      • Click on “Test” to be sure no problems are in the formula.
      • Click OK.
    • On the Define A Report screen, click Print and run the report to screen. Review the lines in the report to be sure all are phantom orders (they do not have a Processed PO ID).
  • Delete the phantom orders from the Open PO file. Once you know which items to remove from the file, you then can delete them by using the delete command in Define A Report. This function can not be undone. Please be sure the report shows only Open PO items that have blank Processed PO IDs. Print the report and verify that you wish to remove all the items on the report from the Open PO file. (Make a backup before deleting.)
    • On the Define A Report screen type “Delete” in the box next to Title:.
    • Click the Print button.
    • You will be asked if you wish to delete these items. If that is what you want to do, click Yes.
    • The items will be deleted when the report is complete. The phantom items are removed.