7 Best Supply Chain Books of All Time

In this article, a supply chain management professional will rank books based on popularity and practicality and present the list of 7 best supply chain books.

Finding the Best Supply Chain Books

We've found that most recommendations on the web are based on just personal opinions. 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, access to this database costs an arm and a leg. Therefore, we develop the ranking method using unbiased performance evaluation and the results are as below:

#The links below are paid links.

Best Supply Chain Books are as below:


1. Supply Chain Management For Dummies, 2nd Edition


If the purpose of this book is to introduce readers to the supply chain models, performance evaluation, and best practices, it has succeeded in a reader-friendly manner and it doesn't involve math. Apart from nice and useful graphics as seen in "the dummies" series, it provides readers with the links to external websites on the spot so readers can dig deeper.

This book tries to make readers understand customers' requirements (with the use of a simplified Quality Function Deployment.) The chapter about supply chain network design uses a graphic tool like Value Stream Mapping instead of math algorithms which are done quite nicely. Overall, the book covers the most important aspects of supply chain management.

Remark: the image above belongs to the 1st edition of this book.




If readers want to understand what supply chain management really is and how to use technology to improve the supply chain, this is the book we are talking about. First, it explains the difference between supply chain management and logistics nicely. We love how this book segments supply chain strategy according to "Responsiveness" and "Efficiency" which are quite easy to grasp. A chapter about Supply Chain Coordination aka "Bullwhip Effect" saves readers a lot of time so you don't have to read difficult scholarly articles.

This book is very easy to read according to "The Essentials" series standard. Graphics and conceptual models are very easy to understand. Every chapter has either an "In the Real World" section to introduce readers to the supply chain management concept in reality or an "Executive Insight" section to introduce readers to a short case study.

In short, this is a technology-oriented book worth reading.




The purpose of this book is to introduce readers to the supply chain mindset, the competition between supply chain vs supply chain NOT company vs company. The author introduces the most important supply chain concept, Cost vs Value. The entire chapter is dedicated to customer value and how to achieve it. Instead of explaining forecasting formulas, the author explains the push/pull points concept and how to improve the quality of demand planning in general. A whole chapter is used to explain how to reduce lead time so a supply chain can be more responsive.

This book is very easy to read. Even though it gears toward college students, it's easy enough for beginners. Spending a year in the library or getting this book, the choice is yours.




In a world full of uncertainty, the supply chain has become more complex than it used to be. This book presents contemporary topics from Covid-19 and beyond. In the production of this book, the author interviewed 20 executives from leading companies for inputs. 

In short, this book will show readers how to apply the supply chain risk management concept like how to handle disruption itself and what kind of decision making and information sharing in the supply chain is required. It will also explain how to create the supply chain capabilities for the future. 




If readers would like to explore the realm of supply chain analytics, this is the book. It covers many decision-making models in supply chain and operations management that readers can implement in a spreadsheet. Each chapter comes with college-level case studies. Even though this is a math-heavy book, some chapters like supply chain strategy, supply chain performance, and supply chain metrics (chapters 1-3) are simple enough to read. A chapter about supply chain network design (chapter 4) is surprisingly simple because it doesn't involve any math algorithm.




This is a very good book for anyone who would like to learn how to use supply chain processes, metrics, and best practices to create a solid supply chain strategy. At the end of each chapter, an extensive real-world case study will be presented. Charts and graphs are presented nicely and easy to understand. Please note that this book is based on Supply Chain Operations Reference Model (SCOR Model). However, prior knowledge of this model is not required.




If readers would like to learn supply chain management from case studies, this is the book for you. Each chapter comes with many case studies to demonstrate the concepts. Some case studies that we love: 2.5 Segmented supply chain strategy process at Kimberly-Clark Europe, 5.2 Managing lead time at Electro-Coatings Ltd, 6.5 CPFR trials in the UK grocery sector, and many more.

Moreover, Charts and graphs are well organized and easy to understand. The end-of-the-chapter summary is very useful. 

Remark: the image above belongs to the 5th edition of this book.

How We Rank Supply Chain Books

We perform the search queries in Google Scholar. About 1,000 search results are displayed. Then we rank supply chain management books based on these criteria:

- Citation Counts: citation count is used to determine the popularity of the supply chain management books.

- WorldCat Library Counts: we also check how well supply chain management books performs by looking into WorldCat Library System and checking how many copies of each book are in this system. The reason is that librarian staffs have a systematic vetting process so we would like to know what kind of books they choose.

- Amazon Sales Rank: in the case of newer supply chain management books, we use Amazon Sales Rank to determine if each book is popular.

- Awards and Endorsements: we also use awards/endorsements from authority figures in the supply chain industry to reflect the practicality of the supply chain management books.

- Relevancy: only highly relevant books about supply chain management will be listed. 

- Editorial Decision: the editor's decision is used to finalize the list of the best supply chain management books.

Do you like supply chain books on this list?


References

- Moed, H. F. (2006). Citation analysis in research evaluation (Vol. 9). Springer Science & Business Media.

- Sodhi, M. S., Son, B. G., & Tang, C. S. (2008). ASP, the art and science of practice: What employers demand from applicants for MBA-level supply chain jobs and the coverage of supply chain topics in MBA courses. Interfaces, 38(6), 469-484.

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Last review and update: May 6, 2022
All contents are written by Ben Benjabutr unless marked as [Guest Commentary]

About the Author and Editor:
Ben Benjabutr is the author and editor of SupplyChainOpz. He holds an M.Sc. in Logistics Management with 10+ years of experience in supply chain management. You can contact him via e-mail.