Summer Reading Guide: 16 Must-Reads This Summer
Dip into these books to soak up some supply chain savvy and illuminating insights.
Long Haul Legacy
By F. Martin Harmon
Written in conjunction with Jack Middleton, long-time chairman of SMC3, Harmon tracks the progression of the trucking industry through the lens of the U.S.-regulated rate conferences. The book recounts eight decades of transformation to provide a historical view of the freight bureaus that regulated the transportation industry, and how technology paved the way for modern-day organizations, such as SMC3, that thrive today as key LTL freight rate providers to the transportation industry.
Why It’s a Must-Read: This book reveals how national rate conferences evolved into progressive IT and software enterprises. By integrating detailed historical depictions of the country’s long-haul carriers, Harmon takes readers inside the history and transformation of the trucking industry, dating all the way back to the early 1900s.
Reinventing the Supply Chain Life Cycle
By Marc Schniederjans and Stephen LeGrand
Used as a resource in graduate and undergraduate logistics programs, this book covers a wide array of trending supply chain strategies, including network design, product life cycles, agility and flexibility, demand planning, sustainability, and Lean operating systems. Complementing the overview of supply chain topics and methods is a series of interviews with logistics leaders who oversee the supply chains of some of North America’s iconic organizations including Home Depot and Coca-Cola.
Why It’s a Must-Read: Written for both students and supply chain professionals, the book delves into a variety of logistics and supply chain strategies that drive the progression of a product from market introduction, pricing, risks, and partnerships to late-stage development phases. This resource is an especially insightful read for anyone involved in the field of inventory and product management.
"The So What Factor" of Logistics
By LTC James Henderson
A guide to assist both military and civilian logisticians, this book takes a diverse and holistic approach to the science and art of logistics. For those interested in the history of military logistics—the forefather of modern-day logistics—this resource offers both old and new supply chain doctrines that apply to military and private commercial operations. The book’s central theme is the justification and logic behind implementing a full-scale logistics game plan.
Why It’s a Must-Read: Written by a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army, this book offers, from a leadership perspective, practical advice for taking a disciplined approach to operational efficiencies. Henderson effectively makes the connection between the military deployment of personnel and equipment with today’s supply chain management practices.
Port Cities: Dynamic Landscapes & Global Networks
By Carola Hein
Providing a pictorial overview of a multitude of port locations around the world, Hein explores how port cities link the United States to other global regions, and delves into how port-scapes connect cities to their culture and people. Arguing that ports are more than a driver of jobs for the working class, the book illustrates how ports become a part of the urban environment and regions represented, and provides both historical and industrial applications.
Why It’s a Must-Read: The writing captures the landscape of ports in various global regions and incorporates the connectivity of the port to the city, its culture, and the region’s citizenry. In addition to linking port history to the cultural make-up of a geographic urban environment, the author proposes that a network beyond traditional global trading channels exists among all port cities.
Using Your Supply Chain as a Competitive Weapon
By Tony Vercillo
Written by a seasoned supply chain consultant, this book offers real-world applications and case studies to illustrate practical methods for delivering a results-based operating platform. Vercillo offers 10 steps to achieve supply chain dominance that include assessing current practices and innovations that fuel a proactive approach to excellence. The book also addresses modern-day strategies for successful IT applications, KPI assessments, and offshoring programs.
Why It’s a Must-Read: Vercillo advocates taking a proactive approach to supply chain operating efficiency. Drawing from his own practical experience, he offers a step-by-step methodology to drive operational success in today’s sophisticated supply chains. Addressing current trends in logistics strategies and technology applications, Vercillo provides a thought-provoking look at what systems work best in an organization’s operating platform.
Enterprise Software Delivery
By Alan Brown
Written by an IBM software engineer, this book outlines actionable techniques for building technology-enabled supply chains. Brown addresses trends in enterprise software delivery, including cloud, multi-sourcing, mobile, and crowdsourcing models. Advocating a team-based approach to supply chain software applications, the book focuses on delivery processes as opposed to traditional software development.
Why It’s a Must-Read: Brown’s focal point of interest is agility and efficiency in implementing supply chain software. He discusses how using governance measurements and metrics can lead to predictability in operating platforms—the goal of effective supply chain software applications. A key component of the book is how users can drive innovation while staying focused on increasing cost pressure from software providers.
The E-Commerce Book: Building the E-Commerce Empire
By Steffano Korper and Juanita Ellis
Endorsing the concept of e-commerce as a means of 24-hour convenience, Korper and Ellis take readers through the progression of online sales from inception to the dynamic growth of modern retail channels. The central message is the vast influence e-tail merchandising has had on the global consumer shopping and distribution markets. Written to challenge entrepreneurial readers to rethink the holistic consumer experience, this book explores channels of e-commerce beyond the retail frontier.
Why It’s a Must-Read: In an era when commerce is moving away from traditional brick-and-mortar transactions, the authors explore how e-commerce applications might expand past electronic consumerism. Through graphs and models, the book also explains how our electronic transaction-based society is transforming the modern supply chain.
The Toyota Way: 14 Management Principles from the World’s Greatest Manufacturer
By Jeffrey Liker
Renowned for its manufacturing excellence, Toyota’s management principles have transformed not only the automotive OEM sector but also operations management and entire manufacturing industries. In his book, Liker profiles other companies that have adopted Toyota’s philosophy of workplace efficiencies to reach high quality and reliability standards. He also addresses the 4 P’s—philosophy, process, people/partners, and problem solving—central to Toyota’s management ideals.
Why It’s a Must-Read: Toyota introduced several managerial and manufacturing concepts into modern-day operations management, such as Kanban, continuous improvement (kaizen), just-in-time, waste elimination, and general Lean principles. Toyota’s 14 principles, as outlined in this book, are effective guides for any manufacturing or operations management organization.
Retailing Logistics & Fresh Food Packaging
By Kerstin Gustafsson, et al
Recognizing the looming changes in the global food supply chain, the authors address how retailing, packaging, and logistics interface to maintain pace with government regulations and consumer demands for fresh food delivery channels. Emphasizing the role of technology, just-in-time delivery, reverse logistics, RFID, thermal packaging, and air cargo deliveries, the book provides case studies of how companies apply technology successfully in the cold chain.
Why It’s a Must-Read: Packaging and temperature integrity in the food supply chain has received substantial media attention lately, thanks to recent changes in government oversight, including the Food Safety Modernization Act. Given the industry’s intense government regulation, the authors emphasize the need for continued leadership in retail food packaging, food processing, and temperature-controlled distribution.
By Rolando Tomasini and Luk Van Wassenhove
Emphasizing preparedness and coordination, the authors define the characteristics of a humanitarian supply chain, and acknowledge the imbalance between limited supply and constant demand. Building an effective humanitarian supply chain requires three key elements: human input, liquidity, and capital. Partnerships between the private sector and humanitarian side also are critical to meet physical needs in underserved countries.
Why It’s a Must-Read: Organizations such as the United Nations and the Red Cross are out in front to address the food and clothing supply in third-world populations, but the needs of the underserved are only partially being met. The authors propose that additional humanitarian organizations and awareness campaigns are necessary to engage the private sector and balance supply and demand in humanitarian causes.
Moving Boxes by Air: The Economics of International Air Cargo
By Dr. Peter Morrell
Providing a comprehensive overview of all facets of the air cargo industry, this book addresses airfreight operations from a global perspective, covering all dynamics of the business from a practitioner’s point of view. Using extensive graphs and tables, Morrell identifies the industries that rely on air transportation, as well as those global airfreight hubs that are positioned to thrive.
Why It’s a Must-Read: Morrell’s writing touches on all aspects of air cargo transit and trade, providing details on the freighter and passenger airlines, air cargo intermediaries and forwarders, ground handlers, and the industry’s IT support systems. From a macro-economic perspective, the book reveals trends in domestic and global trade, and why trade barriers and economic variables impact certain commodities and countries.
Logistics and Retail Management
By John Fernie and Leigh Sparks
Capturing emerging trends in the retail industry, this resource combines research, case studies, and challenges in the sector to provide a holistic overview of the retail supply chain. Written just before the e-commerce wave of consumerism, the book alludes to emerging technology applications that will impact the public’s purchasing alternatives. While focused primarily on the international fashion industry, the authors also offer a broader view of the global retail supply chain.
Why It’s a Must-Read: Global fashion merchandising leads the retail industry in consumer trends and shipping volumes. The international trade lanes between Asia, Europe, and North America require an advanced supply chain that relies on multiple transportation modes: air, ocean, and expedited ground delivery. This book also emphasizes and promotes social responsibility within the textile industry and its supply chain.
Warehouse Management: A Complete Guide to Improving Efficiency and Reducing Cost in the Modern Warehouse
By Gwynne Richards
Written for logistics managers or students of warehouse management, Richards’ book covers every aspect of operating an efficient distribution center. By integrating case studies throughout the book, Richards addresses topics including modern supply chain strategies, performance measures, WMS selection, stock replenishment, outsourcing, e-commerce, reverse logistics, picking and materials handling equipment, and designing the warehouse of the future.
Why It’s a Must-Read: This go-to book, written in layman’s terms, serves as a comprehensive resource for managing modern warehouse operations. Richards captures trends in distribution center technologies and applications, and provides insights into balancing efficiencies, costs, and return-on-investment strategies.
Material Innovation: Packaging Design
By Andrew Dent and Leslie Sherr
The authors introduce evolving innovations in the design and functionality of packaging for commercial, retail, and industrial applications, supported by more than 350 illustrations. This book covers sustainable frontiers in package design, along with the materials used in modern packaging solutions. The writers explore next-generation ideas in design and recycled materials, including an adaptable package that can be planted after its useful life—and ultimately grows into a live plant.
Why It’s a Must-Read: Package design has garnered the attention of the logistics sector in recent years, so the topic is timely in supply chain circles. As Lean initiatives gain momentum, innovative design, recycled materials, and less waste become highlights of creative packaging alternatives.
Innovating Lean Six Sigma: A Strategic Guide to Deploying the World’s Most Effective Business Improvement Process
By Kimberly Watson-Hemphill and Kristine Nissen Bradley
This innovative approach to the Lean Six Sigma (LSS) process allows you to mold and shape your strategy as you go, making small adjustments and customizations along the way that can have a big impact on your organization, no matter its sector, size, or end goal. The book offers the most effective methods for deploying LSS at every level—from the leaders at the top, to the managers in the middle, and down to the foundation of your company culture.
Why It’s a Must-Read: Get a real-world perspective through case studies from leading business experts who have guided companies through the LSS process, and discover how they turned those companies around. Learn how to use the latest management tools such as enterprise kaizen, customer journey maps, and Hoshin planning. The book also includes a special chapter focused exclusively on how to implement Lean Six Sigma in the healthcare industry.
Supply Chain and Logistics Management Made Easy
By Paul A. Myerson
This helpful how-to will capture the interest of professionals who study all facets of logistics and supply chain management. Myerson uses charts and detailed definitions to break down industry basics in a user-friendly, yet academic approach. The book covers the evolution of supply chain management, procurement, inventory/order management, transportation, materials handling/packaging, and reverse logistics. Key topics include supply chain sustainability and Lean management techniques.
Why It’s a Must-Read: Myerson covers every aspect of the logistics ecosystem, addressing key terms and trends. He focuses on both the basics of the industry and the complex issues facing logistics professionals.