7 Best Supply Chain Books of All Time

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

Finding Best Supply Chain Books

We've found that most recommendations for 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.

Supply Chain Books Ranking

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 to by other publications. Based on this information, the ranking of 7 best 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.

- A number of citations of the books are collected.

- Only supply chain management books visible in Google Scholar are qualified.

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

- Only highly relevant books about fundamentals of supply chain management will be listed (books discuss algorithms for supply chain network design extensively are not included here, books about information system, customer service, project management, inventory management, purchasing, lean manufacturing, six sigma are not included here either.)

- In case of newer supply chain management books, we use Amazon Sales Rank to determine the books' performance.

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

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

- The links below are #paid links.

Best Supply Chain Books are as below:

  1. Supply Chain Management For Dummies

  2. Essentials of Supply Chain Management

  3. Strategic Supply Chain Management: The Five Core Disciplines for Top Performance

  4. Logistics and Supply Chain Management

  5. Supply Chain Strategy, Unleash the Power of Business Integration to Maximize Financial, Service, and Operations Performance

  6. Logistics Management and Strategy: Competing through the Supply Chain

  7. Supply Chain Management: Strategy, Planning, and Operation

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 the books 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 books on our list? Most books 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 the supply chain management books on our list are university professors from Michigan State University, Stanford University, Northwestern University the University of California at Berkley and Cranfield University (UK). These universities produce outstanding SC research and some of them are from the top supply chain management course and program in the United States. Some authors are from leading supply chain management 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 the older books will have the edge over a newer book (older books have the opportunity to get cited more). However, statistics say that it is not true. Some newer books also manage to get into the top list as below, Anyway, all books on the list have been updated via the reprint edition. Then, there is no question if they are still relevant to the current international business environment and business continuity.

- 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 textbooks 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 like supply chain books on this list?

- 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.

Supply Chain Books Related Resources

Purchasing Book

Six Sigma Books

Operations Management Book

Inventory Control Book

Lean Books

International Business Book

Last review and update: March 20, 2020
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 connect with Ben via Twitter, and Quora or drop him a line via e-mail.