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A common place where people using transfers is the concept of the transfer backorder.  This P21 tutorial is going to shed some light on what the transfer backorder is, and how to manage it.  This will help Epicor Prophet 21 users be more effective in managing their inventory movements between location.

Not Like a Normal Backorder

A transfer backorder, or TBO, is created in P21 when an item is requested on a transfer, but the total quantity cannot be filled.  If the quantity that cannot be filled is not cancelled from the transfer, then a TBO is created in the system.  This works a little different than a backorder that you have on a sales order.

In a sales order, the backorder keeps the sales order open until it is finally filled and shipped to the customer.  As a result, you can ship multiple times against the sales order until all items are complete or cancelled.  By contrast, a transfer is only shipped against one time.  Once the transfer has been shipped and received, it closes.

The leftover quantity on the transfer then becomes a TBO, which is essentially a placeholder, identifying that there was/is demand for that item to be moved from one location to another.  It does not directly have transaction associated with it.  This frequently causes some confusion with users when they see a quantity on backorder in Item Master Inquiry, but there is no open transaction in the Open Order tab.

Clicking on the backordered quantity will open the item in Inventory Drill Down by Item, which reveals the fact that the backorder is tied to a TBO, not a Sales Order.

P21 Tutorial on What a TBO Does

As a placeholder, the transfer backorder leaves a marker in the system that creates purchasing demand.  This is a signal in PORG to purchase the item at the source location from a supplier.  Again, this has a tendency to confuse buyers who click on the backordered quantity in the PORG calculation tab.  A message indicating there are no unlinked backorders appears.  There is not a good way to quickly determine that it is a transfer backorder.

p21 tutorial allocate

That said, when the item has been purchased and is being received, the TBO will allocate and a new transfer is created to fill the demand and clear the TBO.

p21 tutorial create transferDeleting A Transfer Backorder

In many cases, a TBO is either created accidentally, or the need for the transfer goes away.  In these cases, it is necessary to delete the transfer backorder without a PO or other receipt.  Prophet 21 provides a screen called View Open Transfer Backorders which allows the user to change or delete the TBO quantity quickly and easily.

The window is a typical query grid, and you can retrieve the results with your desired filter.  Then you can deal with the TBO quantities accordingly.

p21 tutorial tbo

To delete the TBO, simply zero out the quantity backordered and then click save.  You can also reduce or increase the quantity as needed.  If you do not want TBO’s being created, it is a good practice to instruct people who are shipping and receiving transfers to set the disposition of short quantities to C instead of B.  This will cancel the backorder instead of creating a TBO


If you want to read another P21 tutorial, visit our P21 knowledge base.