“Which is the best Supply Chain Management Book for beginners like me to learn operations and supply chain?” someone ask me on Quora. And I thought I could write a blog on this and can mention 7 of them, rather than 1! Although Supply Chain Management can be encapsulated in a definition presented in my old blog here, however, these definitions explode into an immeasurably vast field not only for studying but also for working within. There are so many sub-fields and branches that it can be quite confusing to determine which area you wish to study or specialise in. Here are some Supply Chain Management books that will provide some reading to inspire and educate you along the Supply Chain Education and also in your Career Development journey.
These top 7 picks of Supply Chain Management books are for beginners as well as experienced practitioners which I feel can help you on your way to deciphering this minefield!
Author: Prof Nigel Slack et. Al (2013)
This book provided a fantastic introduction about all I needed to know about Operations Management whilst studying for my Masters at Chalmers University of Technology – It is clearly written and understandable and provides an excellent foundation in developing and building on the knowledge gained from this book.
This book is ideal for business students as well as practitioners and non-practitioners of Operations Management as it is packed full of case study examples. I must confess I read it more than twice and hence it has a lot of coffee stains. What I loved about this book was its revelations on how to different aspects of operations management are inter linked both in manufacturing and service organisations. It was the best reference book I had for all Operations Management topics and I think it is still the best now!
Author: Prof Martin Christopher (2011)
When I started working in the supply chain field, I knew the basics and a lot of theory associated with the concepts of Supply Chain Management (SCM) but I just didn’t feel as well equipped as I felt I should practically having joined a large corporation.
This Supply Chain Management book provides a modern up-to-date insight into the latest ideas about Supply Chain Management from a real-world perspective. It provided invaluable insight that I was able to apply as and when I needed to.
Author: John Mangan, Chandra Lalwani et. Al (2011)
The authors of this Supply Chain Management book / manual have done a fantastic job with providing the basics of Supply Chain Management that beginners can grasp by almost going out of their way in explaining technical terms before going ahead and using them. As stated in their preface, the authors really do ‘stick to the point’ which is what a beginner wants and needs!
Author: Roger Burlton (2001)
A key requirement in any successful business is its ability implement to change when required to stay in the game so to speak and there are many books out there that address Business Process Management – but this book stands out from the crowd.
Not only does it address process management in a practical way by taking you through the stages of business transformation in a step-by-step manner but provides examples and tips that you can identify with in your own company.
I would go so far as to say that this book is not only ideal for the beginner but for experienced practitioners as the go-to reference manual.
Author: John Jeston, Johan Nelis (2008)
This book openly faces the current reality of businesses being predominantly functional based organisations and the natural reluctance to implement a change in the way they function and operate by adopting the Process Management approach.
What I like about this book is that it does not blindly sing the praise of Business Process Management as ‘the silver bullet’ but instead introduces a variety of real-world case studies and explain around it the importance of process within the organisation and then follow it through by providing a process-driven framework.
Author: F. Robert Jacobs, Richard B Chase, Nicholas J Aquilano (2010)
If you want to learn more about the art, the challenges and the processes of the Operations and Supply Chain Management sphere then this book is packed full of insights. If you are an student, teacher, business person or you are breathing and have a pulse….doesn’t everything involve being business?…then read this book.
This Supply Chain Management book was easy to follow and easy to read. As one buyer commented “Short and to the point chapters, end of chapter problems/quizzes/definitions that are helpful. It also has solved problems in the chapter and at the end which is nice”.
Author: Robert M. Monczka, Robert B. Handfield, Larry C. Giunipero, James L. Patterson. (2015)
This books is written by some heavy weights of Supply Chain education worlds, hence, it comes with very hefty price tag!!
As Authors have mentioned in introduction of this Purchasing and Supply Chain Management book “the text includes critical developments from the field, such as cases from emerging healthcare and service industries, procure-to-pay redesign, supply risk, innovation, sustainability, collaboration, and much more. It also examines key changes in supply management and the impact of the global economy and ongoing business uncertainty on continuous cost and value management across the supply chain. Numerous real-world cases and captivating examples give you contextual insights and knowledge into the strategies, processes, and practices of supply management. PURCHASING AND SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT, 6E equips future managers with a thorough understanding of the impact that purchasing and supply chain management have on the competitive success and profitability of today’s organizations”.
As I have been a both teacher and students in a previous life, these books resonated with me. It provides an inspiring insight into how when finding your passion and combining it with your innate abilities and talents can take a life & supply chain as a profession from drudgery to a masterpiece.