Period 3: The War Years (1940–1946)

World War II introduced a new period in purchasing history. The emphasis on obtaining required (and scarce) materials during the war influenced a growth in purchasing interest. In 1933, only nine colleges offered courses related to purchasing. By 1945, this number had increased to 49 colleges. The membership of the National Association of Purchasing Agents increased from 3,400 in 1934, to 5,500 in 1940, to 9,400 in the autumn of 1945. A study conducted during this period revealed that 76 percent of all purchase requisitions contained no specifications or stipulation of brand. This suggested that other departments within the firm recognized the role of the purchasing agent in determining sources of supply.

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