Inbound Logistics’ Summer Reading Guide 2014

Tags: Supply Chain Management

A book on the beach

Before you hit the beach, make sure you have all your gear. Sunglasses? Check. Sunscreen? Check. Reading material to help streamline supply chain operations? Check. These books give you the information you need to improve operations, brush up on existing skills, or gain new ones.

The Handbook of Logistics and Distribution Management: Understanding the Supply Chain, 5th Edition

By Alan Rushton, et al

Sometimes it helps to get back to basics. This book defines the fundamental functions and elements of logistics and distribution, and provides a broad strategic framework for planning. To keep up with changes in supply chain management, the authors have revised the fifth edition with expanded chapters on multi-channel fulfillment and humanitarian logistics.

Key Takeaways: Because planning strategies, distribution methods, and retail channels are constantly changing, supply chain and logistics managers will find this a good up-to-date reference tool, with actionable information and suggestions that they can apply today.

The End of Cheap China: Economic and Cultural Trends That Will Disrupt the World

By Shaun Rein

Many Americans think of China as the place to manufacture cheap products. But the glut of cheap labor that once made everyday low prices possible is drying up as the country begins to develop its own consumer culture. In his book, Shaun Rein, founder of the China Market Research Group, puts China's continuing transformation from producer to large-scale consumer under the microscope by examining this recent change, and how it threatens America's consumption-driven way of life.

Key Takeaways: Companies doing business with China to save money on manufacturing are now struggling with rising labor and real estate costs. Instead of an overabundance of cheap labor, China is facing a labor shortage due to its one-child policy. As workers retire, fewer people are available to replace them. And workers now buy the things they used to make, are better educated, and demand higher salaries in the face of inflation. After reading this book, you might rethink your China strategy, or consider pulling operations from the country entirely.

The Supply Chain Management Casebook: Comprehensive Coverage and Best Practices in SCM

By Chuck Munson

This collection of 30 focused case studies addresses virtually every aspect of supply chain management—from procurement to warehousing, strategy to risk management, and IT to supplier selection and ethics. A global team of contributors presents key challenges in the pharmaceutical and fashion industries, and previews issues ranging from the limits of Lean to the potential of 3-D printing.

Key Takeaways: A true professional should always know how to address a problem before it arises. This book outlines a multitude of supply chain problems faced by companies of varying sizes and operations, giving logistics and supply chain managers the tools they need to preemptively prevent supply chain disruption.

Mastering the Business of Global Trade: Negotiating Competitive Advantage Contractual Best Practices, Incoterms, and Leveraging Supply Chain Options

By Thomas A. Cook

How well you manage contracts and agreements for sale determines much of your company's success in global trade. While this book explains the key elements anyone managing a global supply chain must know, it more importantly describes how to use negotiation skills, leveraged options, and Incoterms to extract the maximum benefits from your supply chain.

Key Takeaways: Managing global supply chains means constantly striving for efficiency. Negotiating better contracts, and managing relationships with third-party partners that bring the most value to your company, is key to achieving an efficient, successful global business.

Big Data Driven Supply Chain Management: A Framework for Implementing Analytics and Turning Information into Intelligence

By Nada R. Sanders, Ph.D.

From POS, GPS, and RFID to social media feeds, supply chains generate colossal volumes of data. Big data promises to help companies transform data into profits, but moving from promise to reality is not easy. In his book, Dr. Nada Sanders, a professor of supply chain management at Northeastern University, presents a five-step roadmap for cost effectively implementing big data supply chain analytics, and systematically deriving competitive advantage from it.

Key Takeaways: Many companies are trying to figure out how to implement big data into their operations. To do so, managers must break down silos, and take an enterprise-wide approach to analytics. The information must connect all aspects of the company to ensure that the interaction between supply and demand is understood.

Warehouse Management: A Complete Guide to Improving Efficiency and Minimizing Costs in the Modern Warehouse, 2nd Edition

By Gwynne Richards

Warehouse managers are under enormous pressure to reduce order lead times, increase productivity, cut costs, and improve customer service—all while ensuring the health and safety of warehouse employees, and protecting the environment. To help warehouse managers confront these issues head-on, Richards provides a comprehensive guide to implementing best practices in the warehouse.

Key Takeaways: Warehouses are no longer just a place to store goods. They act as fulfillment centers, sortation and consolidation points, crossdocks, and transshipment sites. This book will help warehouse managers gain a full understanding of these different uses, and the technology necessary to maintain operational efficiency in order to succeed.

Fashion Retail Supply Chain Management: A Systems Optimization Approach

By Tsan-Ming Choi

Effective supply chain management never goes out of style. This book showcases current issues related to retail supply chain management and optimization problems, and analyzes emerging research. Through an explicit systems approach, Choi discusses retail fashion supply chain coordination mechanisms and consumer market information-driven fashion retail supply chain models, and suggests future research avenues.

Key Takeaways: Retail supply chain practitioners will benefit from the information about current optimization techniques, based on findings from extensive research on the fashion supply chain.

Creating a Kaizen Culture: Align the Organization, Achieve Breakthrough Results, and Sustain the Gains

By John Miller, et al

Have you heard about Lean logistics and kaizen, but are not sure exactly what they are and how they could benefit your company? This book, co-written by leaders at the Kaizen Institute, explains the concept of kaizen, and describes how to enable an adaptive and sustainable organization by leveraging these values and the behaviors they generate. Real-world examples show how companies such as Toyota, Zappos, and Wiremold gained success from a kaizen culture, and a roadmap provides guidance for organizations seeking to implement kaizen.

Key Takeaways: Integrating a Lean culture in your operation isn't an overnight project. You must change the mindsets, behavior, and habits of all employees from the top down. Rather than just explain how to implement kaizen culture, this book goes further by analyzing the culture and philosophy itself, and why each step is crucial to success.

Logistics and Retail Management: Emerging Issues and New Challenges in the Retail Supply Chain, 4th Edition

By John Fernie and Leigh Sparks

It is getting increasingly harder to keep customers happy, and retailers recognize they have to optimize their supply chains to improve service and reduce costs. While the retail industry has made numerous strides in the right direction, many challenges remain, and new issues constantly arise. The authors combine academic research and practical experience to arm retail and logistics managers with information to help them meet the challenges of the modern retail marketplace.

Key Takeaways: Customers expect everything from fresh fruit to the latest smartphone to be immediately available on the shelf when they go looking for it. In today's e-commerce age, customers aren't willing to wait, and if a retailer can't deliver on their schedule, they'll find someone who will. This book shows retailers how to get more involved in supply chain operations, and increase the chances of keeping fickle customers happy.

Enterprise Sales and Operations Planning: Synchronizing Demand, Supply, and Resources for Peak Performance

By George E. Palmatier and Colleen Crum

Here's a business book that reads more like a novel. Using a hypothetical company and characters from every relevant function, Palmatier and Crum illustrate how to successfully implement a sales and operations planning process. The authors also show how sales and operations planning can improve operational performance, including on-time customer deliveries, inventory control, and quality.

Key Takeaways: An effective sales and operations planning process is essential to successfully implementing any integrated management system. But, as this book points out, operational excellence cannot be achieved by technology alone, and must include the people who will be part of each process.

Sustainable Lean: The Story of a Cultural Transformation

By Robert B. Camp

You hired a consultant to get your company on the road to a Lean operation, but how do you sustain it over the long term? This book follows Jim, the plant manager of an electronics firm that has seen its first Lean initiative fail. A Lean consultant then teaches Jim invaluable lessons that help him establish a new and sustainable Lean program at his company.

Key Takeaways: Anybody can start a Lean transformation, but not every company or person can sustain it. More than 80 percent of Lean initiatives fail due to lack of involvement from corporate leadership. Executives must lead a new Lean program by involvement and by example. Here's the book that shows you how.

The Definitive Guide to Warehousing: Managing the Storage and Handling of Materials and Products in the Supply Chain

By Scott B. Keller and Brian C. Keller

Flexible, fast, cost-effective warehousing is central to supply chain success. This reference tool helps readers gain a thorough understanding of all facets of warehouse management by illuminating current warehousing challenges and opportunities for competitive advantage, reviewing key processes and technologies, and demonstrating how to make better decisions in all functions—from siting to picking to staging.

Key Takeaways: Warehousing is one of the most vital links in the supply chain. When warehousing space isn't available, other supply chain functions, such as manufacturing and transportation, begin to break down. This book advises warehouse managers to keep their finger on the pulse of the contemporary warehousing industry, and be prepared with the technology, properly sited facilities, and storage and operational space necessary to accommodate the changing needs of today's supply chain.

Supply Chain Risk: Understanding Emerging Threats to Global Supply Chains

By John Manners-Bell

How safe is your global supply chain? Threats could well become more acute over the next few years due to the increasing prevalence of natural disasters and the continued threat of terrorism. Manners-Bell assesses various sources of external threats to the supply chain—environmental, geopolitical, economic, and technological. He also demonstrates, through a series of case studies and examples, how multinational corporations deal with these threats.

Key Takeaways: Over the past few decades, efforts to improve the bottom line have left some companies' supply chains more vulnerable to risk. As a result, today's managers must focus on making their supply chains more resilient. This book shows supply chain managers how to implement international risk awareness and response programs, and improve visibility to inventory and all supplier levels, to help minimize supply chain risk, and, in some cases, eliminate it altogether.

The Definitive Guide to Integrated Supply Chain Management: Optimize the Interaction Between Supply Chain Processes, Tools, and Technologies

By Brian J. Gibson, et al

Supply chain management plays a huge role in boosting customer service, reducing costs, and improving financial performance. This book provides all the knowledge readers need to start designing, implementing, and managing an effective supply chain. The authors feature supply chain management best practices that have been proven to work in organizations of many sizes, types, and industries.

Key Takeaways: To improve performance, and prevent disruption in their operations, supply chain practitioners need to thoroughly understand the various facets of supply chain management, and become familiar with all the technology options available to them. This book is an excellent starting point.

Agribusiness Supply Chain Management

By N. Chandrasekaran and G. Raghuram

The agribusiness supply chain is ripe with processes such as supply, production, and demand management to customers through a competitive distribution channel. Each step of the process can be plagued with challenges such as production and demand diversity, bulkiness of produce, perishability, and seasonality. By highlighting the complexity and importance of supply chain management, this book helps readers systematically approach decision making when handling agricultural products.

Key Takeaways: With the many factors that can cause delays in deliverability, a well-designed supply chain is a must in today's agribusiness marketplace. Companies that have the capability to establish a distinctive supply chain, and develop it as a strategic asset, will become the cream of the crop.

Supply Chain Management Strategy: Using SCM to Create Greater Corporate Efficiency and Profits

By Alexandre Oliveira and Anne Gimeno

Looking for strategies that grow sales and margins, deliver consistently superior customer experience, reduce cost, and drive more value to shareholders and stakeholders? You'll find them here. Global supply chain experts Alexandre Oliveira and Anne Gimeno draw on extensive field experience to guide readers through comparing and choosing supply chain management models, and leveraging today's highest-value applications and best practices.

Key Takeaways: Customer satisfaction is important, but it isn't everything. Successful companies must create long-term business profitability to compete with complex and fluid supply networks. Ultimately, supply chain managers must use their resources and market knowledge to drive profitability and create value for the shareholder; that's what enables a sustainable organization.