10 Best Supply Chain Management Books of All Time

Supply chain management books that are praised by supply chain executives, consultants and supply chain management professionals at all levels.

In Search of the Best Supply Chain Management Books
We've found that most recommendations for supply chain management books on the web are based on just personal opinion. In the publishing industry, Nielsen BookScan is the most widely used database for a book ranking method. In short, Nielsen provides the point of sales data from various retail outlets and gross sales quantity will be summarized. Anyway, the access to this database costs an arm and a leg. Therefore, the challenge to establish the ranking method is to find a more economical data source and the unbiased metrics.

Data Collection
We're sure some of you've been using Google Scholar to find related publications. As you may notice, the search results will always show a number of citations or how many times each publication is referred by other publications. Based on this information, the ranking of 10 greatest supply chain management books of all time can be identified as below,

- We perform the search queries in Google Scholar

- About 1,000 search results are displayed

- Number of citations of each book are collected

- Only books about visible in Google Scholar are qualified

- If a particular book has more than one record, only a record from the most current or most cited editions will be selected

- Only highly relevant supply chain management books and logistics books will be listed (supply chain management books discuss algorithms extensively are not included here, books about purchasing are not included here either)

- Obsolete and out-of-print books are not included

- Editor's decision is used to finalize the list

10 Best Supply Chain Management Books are as below:
  1. Essentials of Supply Chain Management by Michael Hugos

  2. Strategic Supply Chain Management: The Five Core Disciplines for Top Performance by Shoshanah Cohen and Joseph Roussel

  3. Logistics and Supply Chain Management by Martin Christopher

  4. Supply Chain Strategy, Unleash the Power of Business Integration to Maximize Financial, Service, and Operations Performance by Edward Frazelle

  5. Supply Chain Management: Strategy, Planning, and Operation by Sunil Chopra

  6. Logistics Management and Strategy: Competing through the Supply Chain by Alan Harrison and Remko Van Hoek

  7. Manufacturing Planning and Control for Supply Chain Management by F. Robert Jacobs et al

  8. Supply Chain Logistics Management by Bowersox et al

  9. The Handbook of Logistics and Distribution Management: Understanding the Supply Chain by Alan Rushton et al

  10. Designing and Managing the Supply Chain: Concepts, Strategies and Case Studies by David Simchi-Levi et al

Interesting Statistics
While conducting this survey, We've found some interesting statistics that we would like to share as below,

- Number of Citations: the reason the citation count is used to determine the impact of each book is so simple. The content is good then people refer to it often (number of citations are also used to measure the importance of journal articles aka Impact Factor). Our personal observation is that scholarly articles cite supply chain management books because most books present building block concepts and citations usually appear in the literature review section. Anyway, how often scholarly articles cite top supply chain management books on the list? Most books about supply chain management got about 1,000 citations on average. This may appear to be a bit low when compared with books in other disciplines such as marketing. But we believe this is pretty normal because everyone can cite marketing books, but not everyone will cite supply chain management books.

- Author Affiliations: authors of top supply chain management books on our list are the university professors from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Michigan State University, Stanford University, Northwestern University the University of California at Berkley, Indiana University and Cranfield University (UK). These universities produce outstanding SC research and some of them are from top supply chain management program in the United States. Some authors are from leading supply chain consulting companies.

- Country: the interesting thing we've found is that the United States appears to be the powerhouse in supply chain management. How about its counterpart in Europe? Professor Martin Christopher and Professor Remko Van Hoek are European professors who manage to be on the top list. They've published many supply chain management related articles in top journals.

- Year of Publication: some people may feel that the use of a number of citations to do the ranking is the drawback because an older book will have the edge over a newer book (older supply chain management books have the opportunity to get cited more). However, statistics say that it is not true. Some new books about supply chain also manage to get into the top list as below, Anyway, all books about supply chain on the list have been updated via the reprint edition. So there is no question if they are still relevant to the current business environment.

- Number of Copies in WorldCat Library System: we also check how well each book performs by looking into WorldCat Library System. What we see is that librarian staffs tend to buy shorter books more than standard textbooks. The assumption behind this is that college students will buy textbooks anyway so there is no need to have a copy in the library.

Do you use supply chain management books on this list and why?

About the Editor

Ben Benjabutr is the editor of SupplyChainOpz. He holds an M.Sc. in Logistics Management with 10+ years of experience in various functions in supply chain magement. In his free time, he enjoys reading business and management books. You can learn more about him here or connect with him via TwitterQuora and Google+ or drop him a line via e-mail.