Determinants of Individual-level Demand Forecasting Performance

Anthonelli White Jr.


Since Congress's 2010 mandate to remedy demand forecasting, Department of Defense supply chain leaders have made great progress in improving forecasting methods and policy. However, relatively little attention has been given to the human element of forecasting. According to Morelidge (2016) it is the quality of forecasts reviewed and adjusted by individual forecasters that are most impactful for supply chain planning. In addition to forecasting methods and procedures, research literature suggests management practices may also affect forecasters performance. However, there has been limited empirical evidence supporting this claim. This research effort sought to investigate if and how management practices are linked to forecaster performance. In particular, this research investigated if perceptions of the technology used for forecasting and the organizational context within which forecasting takes place could explain variation in individual-level forecasting performance. Using Air Force forecasters as the sampling frame, a combination of survey data and historical forecasting performance data were analyzed to explore the relationships between these variables. The results of this research effort suggest that management practices do affect forecaster performance and make the case for a broader approach to forecasting improvement initiatives.