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14 Brain-Building Books About Supply Chain and Decisioning

By LLamasoft Editorial Team  March 7, 2019

You have the power to develop yourself professionally by simply opening a book. Expand your thinking and learn new ideas about supply chain and decisioning from some of the members of LLamasoft’s team!

Supply Chain Logistics Management by Donald Bowersox

Recommended by Arad Adler, Product Tech Manager

Interesting fact about this is Mr. Bowesox – he was a professor at Michigan State University and is considered as one of the most influential academics in supply chain.

Transport Economics by Kenneth Button

Recommended by Arad Adler, Product Tech Manager

This is a mixture of economics concepts and supply chain, it has a look at the topics from a macro perspective but the book does get into the calculation of pricing, externalities etc.

The Optimization Edge by Steve Sashihara

Recommended by Madhav Durbha, Group VP of Industry Strategy

Written for Business folks (not math geeks), the book is full of great examples around the application of optimization in SCM and beyond. It also deals with opportunities and challenges in getting an executive to buy in on the use of optimization.

Deep Thinking: Where Machine Intelligence Ends and Human Creativity Begins by Gary Kasparov

Recommended by Madhav Durbha, Group VP of Industry Strategy

Reflecting on his loss to IBM’s Deep Blue in the game of chess, Gary Kasparov makes some very compelling arguments about why machine intelligence is advancing so fast with the rise of computation power and with brute force mathematical techniques and why we are still further away from generalized AI.

Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh

Recommended by Kevin Mooney, Vice President of Global Support

This book was written by the Founder and CEO of Zappos – who is known for delivering world class customer service. He encourages businesses to leave no question unanswered, and enabling employees to do the right thing even if it’s “not their job”.

Great by Choice by Jim Collins

Recommended by Kevin Mooney, Vice President of Global Support

I like the messaging around this book which encourages fanatical discipline. Everyone has good and bad luck and this book makes the case for preparedness which helps you maximize good luck and minimize bad luck.

Turn the Ship Around! by David Marquet

Recommended by Kevin Mooney, Vice President of Global Support

This is an amazing read for leaders and anyone looking for inspiration. The author of the book became the commander of one of the worst submarines in Naval history and turned it into one of the best. This book is very tactical and shares ideas on how to become a service-minded leader.

The Black Swan by Nassim Nicholas Taleb‎

Recommended by Sandra Moran, Senior VP and Chief Marketing Officer

I originally picked this book up in preparation for Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s keynote at LLamaCon in June 2019 and was intrigued by the use of storytelling to explain the author’s point of view.  I found it quite interesting to consider how past experience guides our beliefs about what is improbable – until it actually happens.  I particularly enjoyed the positive spin that instead of fearing or trying to predict the improbable that we get comfortable with the fact that these things will happen and that we relish the unexpected pleasures.  I can’t wait to hear Nassim live.

Integer Programming by Michele Conforti

Recommended by Bhanu Potluri, Applied Research Scientist

Although it does mention Supply Chain, the math models this book talks about are the backbone of all optimization applications including our solvers in Supply Chain Guru.

Inspired: How to Create Tech Products Customers Love by Marty Cagan

Recommended by Laurie Tuschen

A really great book for people in product management.  It talks through roles necessary to design, create and deliver great products and how these roles can change as a company moves from a start-up to a more mature company.

The Visual Display of Quantitative Information by Edward Tufte

Recommended by Laurie Tuschen, Technical Product Management, Manager

If you like pretty pictures and data, then this book is for you.  This is one of my go-to books when I am looking for ideas about how to make complicated data look less complex.

The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future by Kevin Kelly

Recommended by Laurie Tuschen, Technical Product Management, Manager

Technology has become a driving force in our lives. This book helps me think about where technology might go next. I like the optimistic viewpoint of Kevin Kelly.

The Supply Chain Revolution: Innovative Sourcing and Logistics for a Fiercely Competitive World by Suman Sarkar

Recommended by Laurie Tuschen, Technical Product Management, Manager

This book has a lot of interesting stories – both successful companies and unsuccessful ones.  The supply chain often seems to be a make or break part of these companies. Anyway, cool to get a little of the inside scoop in this book.

The Logic of Failure (Recognizing and Avoiding Error in Complex Situations) by Dietrich Dörner

Recommended by Craig Wigley, Vice President of Global Customer Success

This book provides great insight into better decision making in complex systems.  We’re all making these decisions every day, and often they’re made quickly with little regard to unintended consequences.  While not specific to supply chains, this book is HIGHLY relevant for supply chain professionals, since even decisions within simple supply chains are inherently complex.

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