Purchasing managers need to become aware of changing world situations because it may affect their purchasing operation, according to R. Jerry Baker, executive vice president of the National Association of Purchasing Management.

Baker, on a visit to the organization's Utah chapter, said because of increasing global competition for the sale and purchase of products, purchasing managers will be working in slightly different environments, Europe and Mexico, for example.He said purchasing managers need to know how the products are manufactured and know about the supplier to minimize the risks.

Asked if it is wise for American companies to purchase only at home, Baker said that thought is strictly a short-term outlook and shouldn't be followed in the long-term because America needs to encourage trade in all parts of the world.

Baker said purchasing managers know how the economy is doing because they control what items their companies buy. That's why their input is requested for indexes to determine how well the economy is doing.

NAPM publishes a monthly economic forecast, and the latest said the national economy was getting worse, but March and April will tell if the recession will end by July.

Baker was in Salt Lake City to attend a chapter meeting and meet with Barbara Burningham, senior buyer for Eaton-Kenway Inc., who is vice president of NAPM's District 1, which includes Utah, Arizona, Nevada and California; Douglas G. Richins, Utah Division of Purchasing director and chapter president; and Helen McCausland, senior purchasing agent for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, who is director of national affairs for the chapter.