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The design features of forecasting support systems and their effectiveness

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Abstract

Forecasts play a key role in the management of the supply chain. In most organisations such forecasts form part of an information system on which other functions such as scheduling, resource planning and marketing depend. Forecast accuracy is, therefore, an important component in the delivery of an effective supply chain. Typically, the forecasts are produced by integrating managerial judgment with quantitative forecasts within a forecasting support system (FSS). However, there is much evidence that this integration is often carried out poorly with deleterious effects on accuracy. This study considers the role that a well-designed FSS might have in improving this situation. It integrates the literatures on forecasting and decision support to explain the causes of the problem and to identify design features of FSSs that might help to ameliorate it. An assessment is made of the extent to which currently available business forecasting packages, which are widely employed in supply chain management, possess these features