This article reports the findings of a comprehensive forecasting study conducted among a wide variety of purchasing personnel in the United States. The primary objectives of the research were to determine the degree of forecast utilization in purchasing, identify the types of firms utilizing purchasing forecasts, describe the items most commonly forecasted, and identify the forecasting methods used. The findings suggest that while most purchasing departments placed a relatively high level of importance on forecasting, judgment-based forecasting techniques were heavily relied upon and methods of forecast improvement were not widely employed. Additionally, forecasting by purchasing departments was found to be a relatively recent phenomenon. The findings also revealed that purchasing departments may not be taking full advantage of the many forecasting and forecast improvement techniques available.
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