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Sales Forecasting Practices of Egyptian Public Enterprises- Survey

Sales Forecasting Practices of Egyptian Public Enterprises- Survey

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International Journal of Forecasting 16 (2000) 359–368 www.elsevier.

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Sales forecasting practices of Egyptian public enterprises: survey evidence
M. Tawfik Mady*
Department of Business Administration, Faculty of Commerce, Alexandria University, Alexandria, Egypt

Abstract The sales forecasting practices of Egyptian public manufacturing companies are reported on and discussed in this paper. The survey revealed the major drawbacks in conducting the forecasting function in Egypt. It shows that few qualified forecasting personnel are available and computers are not used in sales forecasting by most companies. Egyptian companies tend to prepare individual-products forecasts in both monetary and physical units; forecasting is mainly used for the domestic market, and they are reluctant to produce long-term forecasts. Egyptian practitioners are less familiar with the objective than the subjective techniques. The more statistically sophisticated the forecast technique, the lower reported level of usage. Both production planning and budgeting were the major area of use. The lack of top management support and the turbulence change of the company’s market were among the top sales forecasting implementation problems in Egypt. Some recommendations are provided to improve forecasting practices in Egyptian industry. © 2000 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Forecasting practice, Forecasting techniques, Familiarity and usage, Implementation problems; Egyptian manufacturing firms

1. Introduction Good forecasts are an essential part of most successful production systems. They are a major input in all aspects of manufacturing operations decisions (Heizer & Render, 1991). Muir (1982) showed how forecasts can drive the master Production Schedule which in turn
*Present address: Department of Quantitative Methods and Information Systems, College of Administration Sciences, Kuwait University, P.O. Box 5486 SAFAT, 13055 Kuwait, Kuwait. Tel.: 1 965-25-49-205; fax: 1 965-2549-408. E-mail address: drmady@mail.com (M.T. Mady).

drives both Material Requirements Planning and Order Point System in a typical production and inventory control environment. Without a sales forecast, operations can only respond retroactively, leading to lost orders, inadequate service and poorly utilized resources (Fildes & Hastings, 1994). An early survey by Thomas and Dacosta (1979) of corporate Operations Research / Management Science confirmed that forecasting was the number one area of applications in major US corporations. A recent survey seems to support the same finding (Carter, 1987). Several surveys pertinent to demand forecasts

0169-2070 / 00 / $ – see front matter © 2000 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved. PII: S0169-2070( 00 )00033-9

Mentzer and Cox (1984) expanded the scope of their survey by investigating the familiarity. performance. Europe. They explored the using of various forecasting techniques for different time horizons and corporate level forecasts in both small and large firms. SF organizational unit The survey results show that most companies (90 per cent) depend mainly on their own units in conducting sales forecasts. employment. . 1976. and Kwong and Li (1989). Kwong & Li. 1984. Dalrymple. by Kwong and Li (1989). food processing. Japan. Sweden and the USA. Sparkes & McHugh. examined the effect of forecast practices on forecast error for Germany. engineering. A ten-page questionnaire in Arabic was mailed to the general manager of each sampled firm. They studied the state of awareness of particular techniques and the extent they were used in various functional applications. Mentzer & Cox. application. chemicals. Organization and personnel 3. Nicholas & Joy. Mady / International Journal of Forecasting 16 (2000) 359 – 368 practices were conducted in the last two decades (Reichard. educational level of SF personnel. the use of the forecasts in functional applications. Sparkes and McHugh (1984). He was asked to pass it to the person in charge of sales forecasting for completion and return to the author. Wheelwright & Clark. The several specific dimensions of the sales forecasting process in this study were drawn mainly from the previous surveys by Mentzer and Cox (1984). is the first inter-country study reported in the literature. The main goal of the current study is to provide a new understanding of sales forecasting practices under different working conditions in Egypt. in 160 US companies. 1977. mining and refractors. investment. two in textile and one in food industry. department where SF is conducted. Similarly. Reasons for using judgemental forecasting methods and judgementally adjusting quantitative forecasts prior to use were also reported in their study. New Zealand. The six groups represented were: textile. The next section includes the survey results and discussion. The total sample size represented about 42 per cent of the total number of SOMEs working in the country. Korea and the US. Wacker & Sprague. The findings of this study will be used to compare forecasting practices in Egyptian industry with reported practices in other industrial nations.T. by Wacker and Sprague (1998). metals. 3. Mexico. 1978. 2. Spain. A very recent and more comprehensive study. Appendix A includes a profile of the responded firms according to: type of industry. 1989. Methodology A stratified random sample of 49 state-owned manufacturing enterprises (SOME) representing six different industry groups were selected from the state-owned manufacturing firms in Egypt. 1975. and satisfaction of forecasting managers. Only three companies. Dalrymple. Little research has been reported on sales forecasting practices in different countries other than the US and Britain. Sparkes and McHugh (1984) covered numerous aspects of the use of forecasting techniques in British industry. Sanders & Manrodt.360 M. Thomas and DaCosta (1979). and annual sales. computer use in forecasting. Sanders and Manrodt (1994) surveyed the same aspects of forecasting practices at 96 US corporations during 1994. 1998). familiarity and utilization of various SF techniques. and problems of SF implementation. types of forecasts. Rao & Cox. 1987. only 30 of them were considered to be complete.1. Most of these studies have focused on the use of forecasting techniques in the corporate planning process. Japan. 1994. 1984. They are: sales forecasting (SF) organizational unit. A total of 37 filled questionnaires were received (about 76 per cent response rate). 1966. Pan. Sales forecasting in China. with current sales forecasting techniques.

7 6.3. Surprisingly. 3. It prepares forecasts in about one-third of the cases while participating with other departments in 50. 3. The participation of more than one department in preparing the forecasts was exercised in about 60. . 1998).7 3. seem to support the conventional preposition that the sales / marketing function should develop the forecasts because it is the closest to the customer and has the most relevant information to include in the forecast. Japan and the US (Kwong & Li. Department where SF is conducted The data presented in Table 1 shows that the Sales / Marketing department is primarily responsible for forecast development in Egyptian manufacturing companies.3 0. With respect to the relative participation of the manufacturing function (the most important user of the forecasts) in sales forecasting. They showed that this policy does not affect forecast accuracy. Only one of the metals companies has hired a master’s degree holder.3 10. all these three companies meant another wellestablished company. they showed that the use of computers throughout the organization tends to improve forecast accuracy across the seven studied countries.0 per cent only of the cases. In their recent comparative study (Wacker & Sprague. About 73. the study shows a very limited role for them in this process. Production. This is similar to the case of both Chinese and Korean firms (Kwong & Li. Computer use in forecasting The use of computer for forecasting is very rare in Egypt. By external sources. 1989). About three-quarters of the respondent companies reported having ‘some’ bachelor’s degree holders among their forecasting staff. the same phenomenon was detected in some developed countries such as those in Europe. Mady / International Journal of Forecasting 16 (2000) 359 – 368 361 utilize both internal and external sources in preparing their forecasts.3 33. and Marketing Budget and Planning Production and Sales / Marketing Separate Forecasting Group Budget and Production Others Production No. This result may have negative effect on forecast accuracy in Egypt. None of the companies reported using any other sort of outside consulting.0 per cent of the entire sample.M.3 3. These findings agree reasonably well with the findings of Kwong and Li (1989) across several industries in five different industrial countries / regions.0 per cent of the cases. 1989).0 6. 10 10 3 2 2 1 1 1 0 Per cent 33. inTable 1 Name of department where sales forecasting was conducted (n 5 30 firms) Name of department Sales / Marketing Budget / Planning and Sales / Marketing Budget. Wacker and Sprague (1995) implied that using modern technology for forecasting improves forecast accuracy. This result puts severe doubt on the credibility of the sales forecasts reached by these units. Educational level of SF personnel The survey revealed that academic preparation and background of SF personnel is very limited.4. This relatively low use of computers in forecasting in Egypt may be explained by the lack of both computer facilities and qualified forecasting developers in the country. Most of these countries. This preposition was not confirmed in the Wacker and Sprague (1998) study.0 cluding Egypt.2.T. They were involved in about 20. within the same industry group.3 3. 3.3 percent of the sample never used computers in forecasting. It seems that production departments in Egypt are still very much involved in technical manufacturing activities rather than managerial decision making.

1989). 5. 1984. Egyptian companies are reluctant to make longterm forecasts. scope. Interestingly. 1994) and Great Britain (Sparkes & McHugh. All companies showed some degree of familiarization with all the subjective methods listed. 1984. Sanders & Manrodt. and Sanders & Manrodt. 5. This is the same average forecasting horizon reported in China. few were familiar with simulation. Respondents were asked to determine the degree to which they were familiar with some particular techniques (the same forecasting techniques examined by Mentzer and Cox (1984) and Sanders and Manrodt (1994)). Sales forecasting techniques 5. 1984. As for the level of detail.2. and time horizon of sales forecasts conducted in their company. The findings broadly support the same conclusion reached by all previous studies.7 percent) companies reported a forecasting horizon of more than one year. only simple and moving average and demand decomposition methods were well known in Egyptian companies. and the US (Kwong & Li.1.7 per cent) prepared only point estimation sales forecasts. Table 3 shows that the frequency utilization of various SF techniques has generally been attributed to the relative simplicity of different techniques. 1984. 1984) and Egypt. . 1984.7 per cent) forecast their sales in the domestic market only. exponential smoothing. Although a brief explanation for each technique was included in the questionnaire. Sanders & Manrodt. level of details. that practitioners are less familiar with the objective than with the subjective techniques. 1976. The more sophisticated the technique the lower the level of usage. the rest of the sample produce some sort of probabilistic confidence interval SF estimates. 1989). Most of the companies (about 60 per cent) conducted forecasting for individual products as usually practised by the Korean firms (Kwong & Li. of preparing SF on a product groups basis. 1994). only five companies (about 16. Most of the Egyptian firms (about 75. the author has some doubt that the decomposition method was fully understood by all respondents. The results indicate that while 11 companies (about 36. Similar to the finding of Sanders and Manrodt (1994) in the USA. 1984. the author doubts that these probabilistic estimations were done through the conventional quantitative methods. 1989). Sanders & Manrodt. SF techniques utilization As concluded by most previous studies (Sparkes & McHugh. and simple or multiple regression forecasting methods. Sparkes & McHugh. Mady / International Journal of Forecasting 16 (2000) 359 – 368 4.7 per cent) prepared aggregated annual SF values for the entire company.7 per cent) in Egypt prepare their forecasts in both monetary and physical units whereas most of the Japanese firms tend to express forecasts in monetary terms only (Kwong & Li. Among the various quantitative forecasting techniques. Another five companies reported following the Chinese and European approach (Kwong & Li. The sample mean was about one year. 1994). There is a considerable gap between level of familiarity with most quantitative techniques in both the United States (Mentzer & Cox. Type of sales forecasts Respondents were asked to identify the type. 1989). Familiarity with SF techniques The level of familiarity of practitioners with formal forecasting techniques was documented in several studies (Wheelwright & Clark. Korea.362 M. most companies (66. Mentzer & Cox. Mentzer & Cox. Responses are shown in Table 2. On the other hand. However. Only two (about 6. 1994). This method was the second least familiar method in the US in two consecutive surveys (Mentzer & Cox.T.

0 0.0 3.80 2.3 10.0 13.7 10.0 3.7 13.3 10.67 0.3 10.3 6.0 0.3 0.0 10.7 0.7 3.0 16.7 3.7 6.7 44.3 46.3 3.0 96.7 0.0 100.6 93.3 83.0 0.3 100.3 6.3 60.7 10.0 6.7 0.50 3.53 0.10 1.0 3.3 6.0 0.7 3.70 0.0 0.0 0.0 3.0 10.0 4 73.7 0.3 26.7 6.0 10.3 0.30 0.93 0.50 3.3 3.0 0.3 63.7 16.0 3.7 26.0 0.3 0.7 3.0 10.3 83.0 3.3 0.7 Categories range from ‘Not familiar’ (0) to ‘Very familiar’ (4).7 3.0 10.3 65. Table 3 Level of usage of different techniques Techniques Level of usage a 0 Subjective Jury of executive opinion Sales force composite Customer expectations Objective Simple average Moving average Demand decomposition Product life cycle Trend Line Multiple regression Simple regression Exponential smoothing Simulation Box–Jenkins time series a Mean score 1 2 0.7 0.T.3 16.0 16.7 20.0 0.7 26.7 13.0 16.33 0. .0 6.3 6. Mady / International Journal of Forecasting 16 (2000) 359 – 368 363 Table 2 Familiarity with different techniques Techniques Level of familiarity a 0 Subjective Jury of executive opinion Sales force composite Customer expectations Objective Simple average Moving average Demand decomposition Product life cycle Multiple regression Trend line Simple regression Exponential smoothing Simulation Box–Jenkins time series a Mean score 2 6.7 26.23 0.0 3.0 36.17 0.0 0.0 0.0 50.9 43.0 0.3 0.3 0.40 0.7 3.43 1.0 0.30 1.3 13.0 10.3 3.7 13.0 3 23.50 1.06 0.90 1.3 16.3 3 6.0 3.0 73.0 3.7 3.7 30.3 26.3 3.3 0.0 0.7 10.0 4 83.0 0.3 29.3 10.3 83.0 Categories rang from ‘Never used’ (0) to ‘Always used’ (4).63 3.3 30.7 50.0 3.0 0.0 23.0 3.57 2.3 6.0 66.3 10.0 70.0 83.7 3.07 1 0.0 40.7 16.27 0.0 23.3 86.7 90.0 0.M.87 3.40 1.3 13.0 36.0 10.0 6.3 6.

1976.67 0.3 16. Sanders & Manrodt.3 26.3 20.0 0. It was also reported by educators that using regression analysis in forecasting is the most important technique for business undergraduate and graduate students (Hanke.364 M.27 3.0 3.0 3.0 0. The role of sales forecasting Since SF results can be used for a variety of different purposes (Dervitsiotis. Berry & Whybark. Vollman.0 33. Mady / International Journal of Forecasting 16 (2000) 359 – 368 Egyptian practitioners rely largely on judgemental forecasting methods.3 26. only 16. in order of importance. 1994). 1981. These findings are in line.7 3 16.3 33.0 0.0 0. 1984). 6.T.3 43. While ‘tend analysis’ was reported to be the most popular technique in British industry (Sparkes & McHugh. Table 4 shows that the most frequent uses of the forecast in Egypt are. 1992). In line with Dalrymple (1987) and Sanders and Manrodt (1994) findings.1.0 0. This is consistent with the previous finding that forecasting techniques are used for short-term horizons in most Egyptian companies.0 3.87 1. 1984. Europe. 1984). their extensive use of qualitative methods can decrease forecast accuracy (Wacker & Sprague. the questionnaire was designed to identify the utilization of them in some specific areas.7 20. Muir. 1982.7 13. Surprisingly. Although the Egyptian reluctance to use advanced quantitative methods might not have serious implications on their forecast accuracy. Korea. As for the objective techniques. Sanders & Manrodt. ‘simple and moving average’ was the most often used methods in Egyptian companies. budgeting.3 3. production planning and sales planning. 1994) and British firms (Sparkes & McHugh.53 0. Japan.3 20. Both simple and moving average techniques were also the most popular techniques reported by Kwong and Li (1989) in China.83 3. They were heavily used by American firms as forecasting time horizon increased Table 4 SF results use for different operating activities Activities Level of usage a 0 Preparing the budget Annual and monthly PP Sales planning Material planning Product development Capacity planning Manpower planning a (Mentzer & Cox.0 2 0. partially. Purpose of forecasts and implementation problems 6. Wheelwright & Clark.7 66. Both techniques were found also to be the most extensively used method in both American (Dalrymple.0 13. 1987.80 1.0 4 83.3 10.6 percent of the respondents reported using it in producing their forecasts in Egypt.0 13.0 Categories rang from ‘Never used’ (0) to ‘Always used’ (4).7 46.7 60.3 30. 1984). 1998).0 6.13 2. 1975. the moving average has a far greater level of usage in Egypt than exponential smoothing. All companies reported using the ‘Jury of executive opinion’ and ‘Sales force composite’ techniques.7 50.3 10.7 13. . with the Mentzer and Cox’ (1984) results that production planning and budgeting were the number one areas of use for the forecast by a Mean score 1 0. neither simple nor multiple regression techniques were widely used in Egypt.0 16. and the US.

In contrast. standing of the results produced by the forecast techniques. such as computer facilities. Table 4 shows that a significant portion (76 per cent) of the respondents used forecasts in material requirements planning (MRP).0 3 10. respondents were asked to assign a rank to each of the eight listed causes on the basis of their perception of its importance as a cause of their companies’ forecasting problems.3 3 6 20. and the necessary budget.7 1 3.3 5 16.7 3 10. Table 5 shows that the top four problems are.3 0 0.95 2. % No.79 1. and the tremendous variations in users’ forecasts needs. the instability and turbulence of the company’s market.3 5 16.7 7 23. the lack of users’ understanding of the forecasts.7 5 16. 6.0 1 5 16. In this study. high-qualified personnel. the lack of employee statistical knowledge. the lack of top management support.88 2. The survey results show that most companies depend mainly . % No. % 10 33. Additionally. and the lack of top management support.0 4 4 13. production planning.7 5 2 6.3 5 16. This fourth implementation problem could have serious implications on the availability of resources required for the forecasting process. and MRP seems to be a result of relying heavily on short-term rather than long-term forecasts. (1992) argues that the short-term forecasts are used for production scheduling.M.7 1 3.7 2 6. % No. the turbulence and ever changing market.T. Mady / International Journal of Forecasting 16 (2000) 359 – 368 365 majority of respondents in the US.0 9 30. This Egyptian approach of using the forecasts for budgeting.0 5 16. SF implementation problems 7. This is similar to the majority of Chinese firms (Kwong & Li. the lack of employee’ statistical skills.2.88 Mean rank score This survey revealed the major drawbacks in conducting the sales forecasting function in the Egyptian manufacturing firms. budget preparation was not the main use of the forecasts in Japan. the lack of users’ underTable 5 Sales forecasting implementation problems Problems Rank 6 Lack of top management support Instability and turbulence of the market Lack of the users’ understanding of forecasting results Lack of employees’ statistical skills No.3 2. Vollman et al. 1989).7 6 20. This Japanese approach was consistent with the Dalrymple (1987) findings from the US companies in 1987. Sanders and Manrodt (1994) explored some of these factors.0 10 33.7 2 3 10.3 8 26.7 10 33.0 5 16. Conclusions and recommendations Why is sales forecasting so primitive in Egyptian firms? Sales forecasting problems might arise from a number of sources. and long-term forecasts are used for market planning. in order of importance. including the lack of historical data. Only 20 per cent reported using SF results in manpower planning. 1989). The two most important uses of forecasts by Japanese firms were sales planning and production planning (Kwong & Li.

to train and guide companies’ employees in conducting and monitoring sales forecasting. in Egypt. As expected. four major problems were identified. through availing computer facilities. none of them reported using outside consultants. This is not the right approach if the industry is aiming at increasing its market shares abroad. The study also reveals that both production planning and budgeting were the num- ber one area of use by a majority of respondents. forecasting for individual products is needed for both strategic and operational decisions. As for type of forecasts. while very few were familiar with most of the quantitative forecasting techniques. and qualified SF staff. 4. The same result was reached when exploring the utilization of sales forecasting techniques. Some recommendations and comments that are worthy of attention by Egyptian practitioners who want to better enhance their companies’ sales forecasting activities follow: 1. . Through some organizational arrangements. production. Though it was reported that only a very few qualified forecasting personnel were available within most firms. Forecasting demand in foreign countries is expected to represent a major trend in the future. the survey shows that the sales and marketing department is typically in charge of and / or involved in preparing sales forecasts in all cases. Because of the poorly qualified staff. Egyptian companies are reluctant to make long-term forecasts. instability and turbulence change of the company’s market. relying on outside specialized consultants. 3. In addition. 5. With the simple average method as the only exception. this study supports the conclusion that practitioners are less familiar with the objective than the subjective techniques. marketing. When SF implementation problems were investigated. With the new move towards privatization and the transition from planned to market economy. and lack of top management support. The production people have little impact on sales forecasting in Egyptian industry. It was also reported that computers are never used in forecasting by most companies. lack of the users’ understanding of the forecasting results. and logistics can jointly coordinate their efforts in reaching better forecasts. seems to be necessary at this stage. In addition. namely: lack of employees’ statistical skills. Inspite of the need for preparing aggregated annual SF values for the entire company. The more statistically sophisticated the technique. Supporting the use of computers in forecasting could directly increase the accessibility and fast manipulation of forecast data and results. All Egyptian companies showed some degree of familiarization with all the subjective methods listed. and mainly in the domestic market only. Like all other previous studies. this management attitude is expected to change. the lower the reported level of usage. This could be achieved. This result seems consistent with the lack of both qualified SF staff and computer facilities in most companies. it is safe to conclude that Egyptian manufacturers prefer using subjective rather than objective SF techniques. greater market pressure and increased competition from abroad will create a real need for the sales forecasting function within the Egyptian industrial firms and will give the impulse for change. individualproducts forecasts in both monetary and physical units. There is a need to enhance the role of production people in sales forecasting.366 M. Egyptian companies tend to prepare confidence interval. 2. as was shown in other sections of this article. This is partially due to the public authority interference and the instability in some economic policies exerted by the government.T. Mady / International Journal of Forecasting 16 (2000) 359 – 368 on their own units in conducting sales forecasts. software packages. Hiring new SF specialists and building permanent forecasting teams with technical competence is very essential for the long-run progress of Egyptian manufacturers.

.294 US Dollar ($). & Li. K. Appendix A. (1994). Fildes.. 1 Egyptian Pound (L. application. R. Without a forecast you have nothing.M. Familiarity. (1984). 960 1700 1300 Mean 8203 5399 3336 S. Since Egyptian manufacturers are aiming to increase their market shares abroad. Forecasting in business schools: A survey. MA. upper management cannot establish a sensible target that lower level management can plan to meet. less Public Authority interference and more stability in some economic policies exerted by the government are expected.D. 10.. V. P. D.) is about 0. Without a long-term forecast. Millions): a Max. Kwong. McGraw-Hill. A. 379–391. 554–557. 229–234. especially the objective ones. J. N.T. Sales forecasting in China. In: 1989 DSI Conference Proceedings. pp. and encouraging them to join some executive educational programs. 380–386. Forecasting practices in US corporations: survey results. Min. R. Journal of Operational Research Society 45 (1). 7989 4154 3051 Total investments (L. & DaCosta. (1978).D.E. Heizer. this lack of support could have serious implications on the availability of resources required for the forecasting process. Cambridge. Interfaces 9 (4). (1991). 92–100. Nicholas. Thomas. Hanke. (1979). 1–16. Journal of Operational Research Society 38 (1). pp. The participation of users in the forecasting process as a way of increasing their understanding and use of the results should be encouraged. Journal of Forecasting 3. M. Sales forecasting practices: Results from a United States survey. & McHugh. 9. 123 153 319 . Sales forecasting methods and accuracy. Financial Management 7 (3). Pan. Rao. and the US. This could be achieved through training.E. J. Millions): a 2083 338 Max. New Orleans. 3–16. 69–73. Production and operations management strategies and tactics. (1987). (1987). Sparkes. K. McGraw-Hill. J. Sales forecasting practices in large US industrial firms.E. Muir. Annual sales (L. A sample survey of corporate operations research. Practical techniques of sales forecasting. R. forecasting demand in foreign countries should represent a major trend in the near future. (1984). Operations management. References Carter. There is a need for more exposure of SF staff to forecasting methods. Boston. Chicago. Sanders. The organization and improvement of market forecasting. Allyn and Bacon. and performance of sales forecasting techniques. 26 600 14 198 10 180 Min. N. B. long-term forecasts will be possible.E. (1975).. O. J. Mentzer. D. (1989). Under the new ‘privatization’ move. Journal of Forecasting 3. J. K. & Hastings. E. (1994). 8. (1982).. R. M. Interfaces 24 (2). 16 57 Mean 143 414 S. International Journal of Forecasting 3. Marketing Science Institute. Awareness and use of forecasting techniques in British Industry. and statistical skills. 27–36. S.. & Cox. Journal of Forecasting 3 (1). New York. T.D. J.. 431–437. 110 744 a 190 32 105 54 470 19 206 235 211 33 122 129 75 38 51 21 2083 16 193 373 P. G. Korea. 14 47 30 Mean 158 146 230 S. 72–77. J. 381 480 875 Min. Reichard. & Cox.Without the full support of top managers... Preliminary findings of a survey of OR society members. (1966). D. In: 1982 APICS Conference Proceedings. (1984). -A. Dalrymple. 37–42. Mady / International Journal of Forecasting 16 (2000) 359 – 368 367 6. K. & Joy. 7. Japan. Dervitsiotis. R. Business Horizons 12. J.. Europe. Eventually. It is suggested that the first step in developing any system should be to listen to the targeted users of the system. Jr. K. N. Dalrymple. (1981). As stated before. New York. & Manrodt. & Render. E. no real progress can be made in improving sales forecasting. B. C. Sales forecasting methods: a survey of recent developments. J. Sample distribution of the survey Textile Food Chemicals Engineering Metals Mining Sample 3 12 000 1035 5512 5753 103 20 68 43 2 6000 1966 3983 2852 165 19 92 103 3 7155 1000 3587 3188 171 75 130 50 30 26 600 960 5402 5276 875 14 156 181 Number of firms 8 7 7 Employment (persons): Max. (1977). J. J. R.

D. C. Manufacturing planning and control systems. Corporate forecasting: Promise and reality. (1992). D. C. The impact of institutional factors on forecast accuracy: manufacturing executive perspective. Burr Ridge. E.. G. 3rd edition. & Whybark. 40–42.. & Sprague. G.368 M. Berry. (1995).. Forecasting accuracy: comparing the relative effectiveness of practices between seven developed countries. & Clark... J. J. L. Richard D. Wacker. G. Mady / International Journal of Forecasting 16 (2000) 359 – 368 Vollmann. W.T. S. G. L. & Sprague. International Journal of Production Researches 33 (11). . (1976). Harvard Business Review 54 (6). (1998). Journal of Operations Management 16 (2 / 3). Wacker. T. IL. G. 2945–2958. Wheelwright. Irwin. L. 271–290.

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