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A supply chain book can reveal information that you simply cannot find anywhere else. The “Supply Chain Management for Dummies” is a great place to start when you are searching for the best supply chain books, but if you are a little more advanced it may not be enough. Becoming proficient at supply chain management takes a combination of formal training, on the job experience and a commitment to continuously evolving your knowledge base.
A university textbook and supply information book can have some very different information in it. What you learn in the university are the fundamentals and the theories what you learn after can be truly enlightening. One of the best ways to learn about successful supply chain management is to read about the experiences of someone that has done it!
Who Needs to Be Reading More
Whether you have 20 years in the supply and logistics industry or you have 2 years in the industry and are fresh out of college, there is something to be learned by everyone. Learning through others experience is one of the least costly ways to learn.
Improving your talents and honing your skill sets should be a lifelong goal. Anyone that works within the supply chain or that oversees the supply chain or is involved in planning supply and logistic activities can benefit from reading more about the topic.
Small business owners, managers and even CEO’s of large businesses, should read more about supply chain management. Making informed decisions starts with fully understanding options and how those options will affect your business. Reading more about supply and logistics will give you an advantage in decision making and in providing valuable input about your own supply chain.
It is especially important for the small business owner to learn as much as they can about supply chain models, strategies and possibilities as they are forming their own chain.
What Should You be Reading
It is important no matter how many years of experience you do or do not have in the logistics industry that you remain open minded. Logistics and supply are dynamic and evolves constantly, new ideas come along, better technology and more changes. If you do not keep up with changes then you will be left behind and someone that is willing to evolve with the times will step in.
Reading can help to open you up to new ideas and help you to see potential weak spots in your own supply chain.
You should be reading books that:
- Are relevant to your industry scope
- Are NOT relevant to your industry scope
- Inspire and challenge you to change how you think
- Are authored by successful logisticians
It is important that you have a good understanding of success stories within your industry, but it is also important that you read information about industries that you have nothing to do with. For example, if you are in the automotive industry, you likely network with others that are in the automotive industry and have a strong level of understanding about the supply and logistics of the industry. You likely have little to no experience in the health care industry but there may be some practices that can be applied, and you never know where your career may take you. Reading material that seemingly has nothing to do with your industry can be more enlightening than books that are written by well known logisticians in your field.
It is important to become a logistician that understands or at least has knowledge of a wide range of supply chain models, management styles and industry practices. The more you know about supply chain management the more an asset you become. Think of it as elevating your knowledge base to secure your future in the supply and logistics industry.
The point is, reading should help you to branch out and it should help you to evaluate how you are doing things right now and what you can do to improve the process. By stepping outside your comfort zone and reading about ideas that are radically different then your own when it comes to supply chain management, you are challenging yourself to invite change for the better.
There is a range of books including supply chain analytics book, strategy books and more that can help you to expand your knowledge base and get better results. Reading supply books may not seem like something you want to do on the weekend, but many of them are interesting reading and most of them are great learning tools.
Is Supply Chain Management Fun?
Supply chain management can be fun. Many of the books are fun to read and put a smile on your face because they relate real world problems most logisticians are familiar with. Like anything else, it is all in your attitude. For some people supply chain management is a great time, they get to meet new people, overcome obstacles, find solutions to challenges and bask in the wins.
A good read that will tickle your funny bone is Supply Chain for Dummies. It is not meant to be funny, but if you have any knowledge about supply chains, you will enjoy this simplistic approach to supply chain management. You should also pick-up Common-Sense Supply Chain from the Trenches, it is a lighter look at supply chain management and a great perspective that you won’t find in the more scholarly books.
The Must-Read Books
If you are in logistics or want to be in supply and logistics or you are a small business owner that wants to improve their own processes there are some must read supply books. Some of the best management books of all time are focused on improving the supply and distribution of business. Here are the must reads:
Those three books will change how you do business and how you look at business.
Best Strategy Books of All Time
Supply and logistics are all about strategy. The best strategy books can help you to formulate a winning strategy when it comes to your supply chain management style:
- Toyota Supply Chain Management: A Strategic Approach to Toyota’s Renowned System
- Strategic Management of the Health Care Supply Chain
- Common Sense Supply Chain
Ask any successful business how they have managed to become successful and after you hear about all the usual boasting about hard work, innovation, etc. you will hear that the business could not succeed without their supply chain. A successful business can thank their supply chain! Becoming better than proficient at creating a winning supply chain strategy if all the other pieces of the puzzle are in place can tip the scales in any businesses favor.
Best Operations Management Books
The list of things to read to improve how you do business can be lengthy. Once you have the must reads out of the way and the best strategy books of all time, you should move on to the best operations management books:
- Operations Management for Dummies
- Traction Get a Grip on Your Business
- Operations and Supply Chain Management – International Economy Edition
As a supply specialist you must branch out to all areas of business to learn as much as you can about best practices to improve on the services you can deliver.
Other Topics to Consider
It does not have to all be supply, logistics and operations on your night table. There is a world of business-oriented books that can improve not only how you do business but how you get along in the business world. Some topics to consider are:
- Self Help Leadership Books
- Books that are focused on Human Capital
- Books that are there to help you improve relationships in the workplace
- Warehousing books
- Supply IT and technology books
There are a lot of topics out there that can help you to grow as a professional. Supply and logistics are an interesting field that can be very rewarding. It is also full of possibilities for the right people. Being one of the “right people” can sometimes come down to not how much you know about supply chains but how well you can integrate yourself into them and develop relationships that are enduring.
Getting all that you can out of a career in supply chain management starts with your willingness to learn as much as you can. Reading is one of the easiest ways to master your chosen field and improve on how business is done in any industry. Pick up a few books and spend a few hours reading each weekend and surprise yourself with how thought provoking some of these books can be.