Measuring Forecast Accuracy in a Pharmacy

Read this article where forecasting approaches, along with a hybrid forecasting method are covered. What types of data can a company use in quantitative forecasts?

Literature Review

Forecasting Accuracy Measures

In the past studies, various accuracy measures have been proposed, discussed and applied by many studies as evaluation criteria for forecasting methods. Forecast accuracy measures provide necessary and decisive feedback to decision makers in order to use the better forecasting which associated with least forecast error. Due to large forecast errors which usually negatively affect companies' operational performance, forecast accuracy is often considered as a necessity. Forecast accuracy in supply chain is typically measured using the Mean absolute deviation (MAD), Mean squared error (MSE) and mean absolute percentage error (MAPE). The forecasting errors challenge the overall accuracy of the forecasting methods no matter how simple or sophisticated.

This study intends to evaluate the accuracy of the forecasting methods (i. moving averages method, ii. simple exponential smoothing method, iii. least square method) using mean forecast error (MFE), mean absolute deviation (MAD) and mean square error (MSE). This is in similar to the study conducted by Pradeep and Rajesh, except the addition of root Mean Square Error (RMSE) which is the squared root of MSE. Paul applied the forecast accuracy measures to evaluate naïve forecasting technique. Matsumoto and Ikeda adopted the forecast error measures in examination of demand forecasting by time series analysis for auto parts remanufacturing. Nijat, Davis, Peter and Peter, did a detailed description of accuracy measures and the performance of the prediction models are evaluated using a chosen dataset from the UCI Machine Learning Repository. Mathai, Amathai, Agarwal, Angampalli, Narayanan and Dhakshayami, instead used their newly developed accuracy forecast method; Symmetric mean average percentage error and other popular accuracy measures to measure the accuracy of forecast of the sales of the ten products various industries with products having intermittent demand. Rakesh Kumar and Dalgobind, evaluated the performance of forecasting methods using the accuracy of Mean Average Deviation (MAD), Mean Squared Error (MSE) but in different industry and location. The review of the above literature indicated that there are no best overall accuracy measures which can be used as a universally accepted single metric for evaluating and choosing the appropriate forecasting method.