29 Best Supply Chain Resources & Tools That Help You Learn & Grow

In this day and age, you have instant access to the right tools and information on supply chain and logistics management. How to find the best supply chain resources amongst tons of material available which could not just increase your theoretical supply chain competencies, but also give you practical guides and tools to help you solve real supply chain problems.

In this article, I’m going to show you 29 best supply chain resources that will help you master the supply chain so that you can grow in your supply chain career the right way.

To start, all you need are the right tools – tools that have helped other businesses improve their working capital and cash flow.

The Best Supply Chain Resources

 

I have listed down these supply chain resources in 4 headings.

  • Supply Chain Practical Guides
  • Supply Chain Self-Assessment Improvement Tools
  • 7 Best Supply Chain Books for Beginners
  • 7 Best Logistics Management Books

Supply Chain Practical Guides

These supply chain practical guides are written for supply chain professionals to use as a standard guide and practical supply chain resources to be deployed as standard processes across their business and are most common to any supply chain teams and organization. The Ultimate Guide to Inventory Planning Methods

1) The Ultimate Guide to Inventory Planning Methods

All you need to know about Inventory Planning Methods, to improve cash flow, customer service, top-line sales, and profit margins.

Inventory Planning Method

 

 

 

 

 

2) Stocktaking: The Ultimate Guide (Stocktaking Procedure)

This supply chain resource provides you the essential guide to developing your very own physical Inventory or stocktaking procedure and training guide bespoke to your business needs.

 

 

3) Excess and Obsolete Inventory Policy Guide – Revised & Updated

This Excess and Obsolete Inventory Policy provides guidance for shrinkage, obsolescence and excess inventory in the inventory allowance accounts on their ledgers.

Excess and obsolete inventory policy

4) The Ultimate Guide to Demand Forecasting

All you need to know about Demand Forecasting. To improve customer satisfaction, reduce stockouts, Improving Pricing and Promotion.

Demand Forecasting

5) Cycle Counting Procedure Made Simple: A Step-by-Step Guide

This Cycle Counting Procedure establishes guidelines and requirements for conducting Cycle Counting Programs across all business processes and sites.

6) 5S – Kaizen Guide: Organizing the Workplace for Flow

You have the potential to transform your business into a safe and productive entity. This 5S Kaizen Guide makes a great first step.

5S Kaizen Guide

All the above guides are must-have supply chain resources. And must be included in your supply chain playbook, in my opinion.

Supply Chain Self-Assessment Improvement Tools

If you conduct regular self-assessments and audits of your key supply chain processes, it’s easy to identify areas where time and money are wasted, as well as the tactics that are driving real business growth.

I would recommend Strategize > Execute > Audit > Adapt > Learn > Repeat

It’s a proven workflow for continuous improvement with anything you do, the supply chain is no different. The more regularly you analyze your performance and find areas to improve, the better your results will be.

The idea is to use these Supply Chain Self-Assessment Improvement Tools and identify gaps and use the supply chain resources mention in this blog to close the gaps.

Here are some Supply Chain Self-Assessment Improvement Tools/ Audit Tools to identify opportunities and exponentially improve your results.

1) Materials Management Competencies Assessment Tool

How does your Materials Management Competencies knowledge hold up? These 11 competencies Self-Assessment tool Guide lays out what you need to know.

Materials Management Competencies Assessment

2) Best Warehouse Audit Tool to Improve Performance

How do you know your warehouse is performing to a good standard? This warehouse audit tool enables you to identify areas for improvements.

Warehouse Audit Tool

3) Sales and Operations Planning Process- Self-Assessment

How do you know the maturity of the Sales and Operations Planning Process in your organization? This self-assessment tool will help to identify.

sales and operations planning process

4) 5S Audit Tool

This 5S Audit Tool will help you to eliminate the clutter with Sort, arrange with Straighten, sparkle with Shine, create a proper guideline with Standardize, and inspire with Sustain. It is that easy!!

5S Audit Tool

Best Supply Chian Books

These top picks of Supply Chain Management books are for beginners as well as experienced practitioners which I feel can help you on your way to deciphering this minefield! This is one of the best Supply Chain Resources. Please check on the headings to purchase!

1.     Operations Management – 7th Edition

Author: Prof Nigel Slack et. Al (2013)

This book provided a fantastic introduction about all I needed to know about Operations Management whilst studying for my Masters at Chalmers University of Technology – It is clearly written and understandable and provides an excellent foundation in developing and building on the knowledge gained from this book.

This book is ideal for business students as well as practitioners and non-practitioners of Operations Management as it is packed full of case study examples. I must confess I read it more than twice and hence it has a lot of coffee stains. What I loved about this book was its revelations on how to different aspects of operations management are inter linked both in manufacturing and service organisations. It was the best reference book I had for all Operations Management topics and I think it still is one of the best supply chain resources now!

2.     Logistics and Supply Chain Management (Financial Times Series)

Author: Prof Martin Christopher (2011)

When I started working in the supply chain field, I knew the basics and a lot of theory associated with the concepts of Supply Chain Management (SCM) but I just didn’t feel as well equipped as I felt I should practically having joined a large corporation.

This Supply Chain Management book provides a modern up-to-date insight into the latest ideas about Supply Chain Management from a real-world perspective. It provided invaluable insight that I was able to apply as and when I needed to.

3.     Global Logistics & Supply Chain Management

Author: John Mangan, Chandra Lalwani et. Al (2011)

The authors of this Supply Chain Management book/manual have done a fantastic job with providing the basics of Supply Chain Management that beginners can grasp by almost going out of their way in explaining technical terms before going ahead and using them. As stated in their preface, the authors really do ‘stick to the point’ which is what a beginner wants and needs!

4.     Business Process Management: Profiting from Process

        Author: Roger Burlton (2001)

 A key requirement in any successful business is its ability implement to change when required to stay in the game so to speak and there are many books out there that address Business Process Management – but this book stands out from the crowd.

Not only does it address process management in a practical way by taking you through the stages of business transformation in a step-by-step manner but provides examples and tips that you can identify within your own company.

I would go so far as to say that this book is not only ideal for the beginner but for experienced practitioners as the go-to reference manual.

5.     Management by Process: A Practical Road-map to Sustainable Business Process Management

Author: John Jeston, Johan Nelis (2008)

This book openly faces the current reality of businesses being predominantly functional based organisations and the natural reluctance to implement a change in the way they function and operate by adopting the Process Management approach.

What I like about this book is that it does not blindly sing the praise of Business Process Management as ‘the silver bullet’ but instead introduces a variety of real-world case studies and explain around it the importance of process within the organisation and then follow it through by providing a process-driven framework.

6.     Operations and Supply Chain Management

Author: F. Robert Jacobs, Richard B Chase, Nicholas J Aquilano (2010)

If you want to learn more about the art, the challenges and the processes of the Operations and Supply Chain Management sphere then this book is packed full of insights. If you are an student, teacher, business person or you are breathing and have a pulse….doesn’t everything involve being business?…then read this book. A must have in bag of many supply chain resources.

This Supply Chain Management book was easy to follow and easy to read. As one buyer commented “Short and to the point chapters, end of chapter problems/quizzes/definitions that are helpful. It also has solved problems in the chapter and at the end which is nice”.

7.     Purchasing and Supply Chain Management

Author: Robert M. Monczka, Robert B. Handfield, Larry C. Giunipero, James L. Patterson. (2015)

This books is written by some heavy weights of Supply Chain education worlds, hence, it comes with very hefty price tag!!

As Authors have mentioned in introduction of this Purchasing and Supply Chain Management book “the text includes critical developments from the field, such as cases from emerging healthcare and service industries, procure-to-pay redesign, supply risk, innovation, sustainability, collaboration, and much more. It also examines key changes in supply management and the impact of the global economy and ongoing business uncertainty on continuous cost and value management across the supply chain. Numerous real-world cases and captivating examples give you contextual insights and knowledge into the strategies, processes, and practices of supply management. PURCHASING AND SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT, 6E equips future managers with a thorough understanding of the impact that purchasing and supply chain management have on the competitive success and profitability of today’s organizations”.

8.     Introduction to Material Management (Custom Edition for Apics)

Author: J.R. Tony Arnold; Stephen N. Chapman; Lloyd M. Clive

Among many supply chain resources this book is one of the strongest recommendation by my LinkedIn connections. According to Karen Pentz, CPIM CSCP “I think this is one of the easiest textbooks to read and understand, especially for a beginner. It has lots of examples and problems to work through to help understand a particular concept.”

9. Inventory Management Explained: A focus on Forecasting, Lot Sizing, Safety Stock, and Ordering Systems.

 

10. Procurement, Principles & Management, 11th ed.

11. The Procurement and Supply Manager’s Desk Reference 2nd Edition

12. Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In


Best Logistics Management Books

Below I will give you my pick of the 7 Best Logistics Management books out there that I believe not only help with the theoretical, ideal scenarios but will equip you to tackle and adapt your knowledge to any real-world situation you may find yourself in. Another great list of Supply Chain Resources

 

1.     Lean Supply Chain and Logistics Management (1st Edition): Paul Myerson

 

This is the first of 2 Logistics Management Books by Paul Myerson that I have selected.  This book is an all-in-one must have for all Supply Chain practitioners / managers and if you know someone who is, I think this will serve well as a perfect gift that will keep on giving!!!

 

It brings together Supply Chain Management, Lean and Logistics in a readable manner that not only engages the reader but by using real-world examples to explain the theory of logistics, instantly allows you to draw parallels with your own experiences and what you can do to further your knowledge and, if you are a practice manager, provides an excellent reference for practical application on how to drive down cost by understanding and learning how to identify and eliminate waste within your supply chain.

 

All the basic and advanced Logistics tools are introduced and there are also a lot of charts and visual aids further helping the reader visualize the concepts being introduced and put into practice.

 

This book is perfect for anyone involved in Logistics and Supply chain whether they are new to the field or experienced practitioners. It focuses on the logistics side of Supply Chain – for a more in depth and full coverage of all aspects of Supply Chain please refer to his book choice 3 : Supply Chain and Logistics Management Made Easy: Methods and Applications for Planning, Operation, Integration, Control and Improvement, and Network Design (1st Edition): Paul A. Myerson

 

2.     Warehouse Management: A Complete Guide to Improving Efficiency and Minimizing Costs in the Modern Warehouse (2nd Edition):  Gwynne Richards

 

A critical and integral aspect of any supply chain and Logistics is Warehouse management. How successfully warehouses are managed is the key to driving costs down, increasing profit margins and making your supply chain efficient and successful.

 

This book by Gwynne Richards provides all the know-how for Warehouse Management and is the perfect manual-albeit a hefty one!

 

It simply covers everything you will ever need to know about warehouse management from what you may consider the obvious ‘role of the warehouse’ to systematically covering all things warehouse thereafter.

 

I have made the particular reference to ‘Role of the Warehouse’ because, since studying Business Studies in school, I always found that business really is about recognizing and understanding  the obvious in order to make the rest of the complex stages a success. For that, and to put it into words, which when you are reading them you are thinking ‘obviously’ you have to step outside the box in order to see it. The author does that fantastically well, making this book my go-to reference for Warehouse Management hence featuring in my 7 Best Logistics Management Books.

 

3.     Supply Chain and Logistics Management Made Easy: Methods and Applications for Planning, Operation, Integration, Control and Improvement, and Network Design (1st Edition): Paul A. Myerson

 

This is the 2nd book by Paul A. Myerson that I have chosen to feature in my 7 Best Logistics Management Books.

 

As I have mentioned above, this is a great book that covers all things supply chain in such a readable, informative and understandable manner, i just wish Mr. Myers had published this book when I was studying Supply Chain Management ‘back in the day’!

 

This book achieves what many others can hit or miss on – it makes the complex easy to understand. If you are daunted by hearing the words Supply Chain Management, Logistics, Demand and Supply Planning or in the first instance feel you know them but you don’t then look no further for this book breaks these elements down to easy to digest concepts that you will continue to remember and understand and apply long after you have finished reading this book.

 

It’s a must have for students and practitioners alike.

4.     Introduction to Logistics Systems Management (2nd Edition): Gianpaolo Ghiani, Gilbert Laporte, Roberto Musmanno

 

This Logistics Management book is the fully revised version of the authors 2004 prize-winning 1st edition. So my impression and expectation on the outset are high.

 

As the title suggests, this book methodical aspects of logistics systems management and in particular places a particular emphasis on how Logistic Systems operate within an organization.

 

Although this Logistics Management book is tailored for both academics and industry practitioners, I would highly recommend this for the students, as the focus is far more academic. That said, it is provides relevant and detailed case studies, updated models and logistics management techniques that are laid out extremely well and that will no doubt benefit all those involved in Supply Chain Logistics be it academics or supply chain practitioners.

 

The case studies in particular help you develop your understanding of the topics covered.

5.     International Logistics: The Management of International Trade Operations (4th Edition): Pierre A. David

 

In a nutshell, International logistics involves the management and movement of materials / goods / resources in a company’s supply chain across at least one international border.

 

For managers particularly involved with international import and export, this is the ideal reference to get straight to the point of international logistics. It is tailored to suit both students and practitioners – it is in-depth yet concise on all aspects of international logistics and is a must for any student or practitioner learning or working in international trade.

 

6.     The Handbook of Logistics and Distribution Management: Understanding the Supply Chain (5th Edition): Alan Rushton, Phil Croucher, Peter Baker

 

Again, another Logistics Management book that is very readable and covers all elements of Supply Chain Management, Logistics and distribution Management as well as Planning for Logistics.

 

It provides a broad framework for Planning that is clearly set out and is easy to grasp. The information is up to date with the current workings and adaptations of tool used in supply chain.

 

7.     Business Logistics: Supply Chain Management (5th Edition) L Ronald H. Ballou

 

The first and foremost fact to note is that this book has accompanying software and is particularly aimed at the student market.

 

The software provides support and enhances the knowledge embedded in the text.

 

It’s well presented and the software is an excellent combination to provide the ‘practice’ side of Logistics Management from the comfort of your classroom. Highly recommended.

So, here you have it, having practiced and studied SCM extensively throughout my student days and now my career so far, here are my 7 Best Logistics Management Books as currently available on the market. I hope you will find them as beneficial as I have.



As I have been both teacher and a students in a previous life, these supply chain resources resonated with me. It provides an inspiring insight into how when finding your passion and combining it with your innate abilities and talents can take a life & supply chain as a profession from drudgery to a masterpiece

I hope you will benefit and enjoy one of the many supply chain resources mentioned in this page! If you do, then it is worth my time and effort 🙂

 

Dr. Muddassir Ahmed