Taking the Mystery Out of the Phantom

Published February 21 2019 by Ginger Griffith
Back to insights

You may have heard of a phantom item or phantom formula in the manufacturing ERP world, but do you know what a phantom is, why you would use it and how to set it up? This blog will walk you through the Phantom process in D365 from Business Scenario to Item and Formula setup, then through Master Planning and Batch Order processing.

Business Scenario

This business scenario is for a process manufacturing company but the phantom concept can also be used for discrete or mixed manufacturing. 

A chemical company blends raw materials in a large blending vat to create a specific product.  The product from the vat is considered a work in process (WIP) item and is part of a multi-level formula.  This WIP product is not sold without packaging.  Since the WIP product is moved in a continuous flow from the Vat to the packaged item, tracking the WIP product in inventory provides no value.

The second level of the multilevel formula consists of consuming the WIP product and packaging it into drums, buckets, totes and tanker trucks.

Ginger_Phantom Item Blog_Image1

Phantom Item and Formula Setup

On the Engineer tab, for the phantom released product (GGBL8466PH) set the Phantom Parameter to ‘Yes’ to indicate that this item will have a Phantom Formula and will not be tracked in inventory.

Ginger_Phantom Item Blog_Image2

Formula setup example for blended product, two level formula. One level to produce the blended product (GGBL8466PH) from the four raw material chemicals (GG1454, GG233, GG566, GG21).  Another level to produce the finished goods in a 250 gallon drum (GG8466.250) consuming the WIP product (GGBL8466PH) and the empty drum (GG2488):

Formula for blended phantom product:

Ginger_Phantom Item Blog_Image3


Formula for packaged product in 250 gallon drum:

Ginger_Phantom Item Blog_Image4

If the phantom item has been setup correctly, the line type will be automatically set to ‘Phantom’ when the item is added to the formula.  If the line should be included in formula cost calculations, validate that the Calculation parameter is set to Yes. If the line type is not automatically set to Phantom, validate that the setup for the Phantom released product item is correct.

Ginger_Phantom Item Blog_Image5

Master Planning

When running Master Planning, the formula containing the phantom item will appear as a planned batch order. 

Ginger_Phantom Item Blog_Image6

Ginger_Phantom Item Blog_Image7

During the firming process, a message will be displayed to explain that the planned order for the phantom batch will not be converted to a batch order.

 No product from the phantom batch order will be reported as finished into inventory.






After firming the phantom WIP formula and the final packaged item, only the final packaged item is a production order. 

Ginger_Phantom Item Blog_Image8

Production Control

Since the order has already been estimated, the exploded raw material items from the WIP phantom formula are included in the packaged formula.  Notice that there is no trace of the WIP (phantom item) after the planned batch order is confirmed


Production Costing

Cost will be included for all items in the finished packaged formula.

Ginger_Phantom Item Blog_Image 10

Ginger_Phantom Item Blog_Image 11

 The picking list will contain all items from both the WIP (Phantom) formula level and the packaged finished good level. 

Ginger_Phantom Item Blog_Image 12

Ginger_Phantom Item Blog_Image updated

  • Can I use phantom formulas with Consolidated Batch Orders – No, phantom formulas do not appear in Consolidated batch orders.

  • Can I put a route on my phantom formula – Yes, but it may be better to put your route on the final finished good formula since it will be added there anyway.

  • Can I inherit batch numbers and batch attributes from my phantom item – No, since it is not finished into inventory, batch numbers and attributes will not be relevant for phantom items.

  • What type of items are not compatible with phantom items? You can't select Phantom for a catch-weight item, or for items where the production type is Co-productBy-product, or Planning item.




Contact us