Canadian Supply Chain textbook

Five Books Every Supply Chain Manager Should Own

To make your way to the top of your field, or stay there, it’s important to stay up to date with the latest trends and developments. This is especially true of supply chain management—an industry where technology and world economies play a key part, and both can change rapidly.

It is also vital to have a firm grasp of the ground-breaking philosophies and techniques with an influence on the supply chain approach around the globe. The following five publications make for excellent, informative reading, and belong on the shelf of any supply chain manager.

Made in America by Sam Walton

Walmart is one of the great supply chain success stories, and Made in America chronicles the company’s rise from a single outlet to the dominate retail giant in the world. Walton’s primary philosophies were to give the customer what they want, be an all-inclusive one-stop store, and buy low/sell low. The incredible product volume needed to meet those goals necessitated an incredibly well-planned supply chain

The age of this book means it will not be too helpful when it comes to recent industry developments. However, it is valuable as a historical document and a monument to the thought of remaining open to change, embracing risk and innovation, and challenging norms.

Dynamic Supply Chains, 3rd Edition by John Gattorna

Gattorna has written extensively on the supply chain in the past and this publication talks about how it has changed in the wake of new processes and technology. He also writes persuasively about the necessity of people-centric value networks, the importance of listening to suppliers, and leveraging technology. These topics shed light on the need for changes in thinking, strategy, structural design, and management styles.

The Great Disruption by Paul Gilding

We all worry about how climate change will affect our lives, but have you considered how it will affect the global supply chain? As a former head of Greenpeace International, in The Great Disruption Gilding talks about how environmental change could bring about an end to the type of shopping consumers have known for decades. The author persuasively argues this dramatic change is now inevitable and supply chain managers must consider how this shift will affect their business model.

Supply Chain Construction: The Basics for Networking the Flow of Material, Information, and Cash by William Walker

This 2016 publication provides valuable guidance on supply chain by educating the reader through narrative. We follow a fictional team bringing a new product to market. Through this approach, Walker shows how interpersonal dynamics can factor in, particularly when the project has the potential to ruin the company should it fail. While the book is also very good in terms of the detail and strategy needed when building or rebuilding networks, its reminder of the human side of the business provides valuable training and tips for managers.

Legal Blacksmith — How to Avoid and Defend Supply Chain Disputes by Rosemary Coates and Sarah Rathke

Another recent book, Legal Blacksmith is a valuable collection of legal advice for those in supply chain management. While focused mainly on cases affecting American firms, those working in manufacturing and retail can still learn a great deal from this book. Virtually everyone in the field has had to deal with the ramifications of poor communication or a badly written contract, and the case studies included here provide excellent information on how important it is to carefully consider all aspects of supply chain before entering into deals.

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