For anyone working in logistics management, it's a never-ending learning curve to keep up with the innovations and technologies that keep our industries moving. Networking, seminars and ongoing education are, of course, key to staying ahead of the game, but there is also a plethora of industry-related books that relate to logistics and supply chains, making for very interesting reads.
While logistics management may not sound like the basis for a best seller, the following books have plenty to keep you inspired – professionally speaking, at least!
Changing How the World Does Business
Sub-titled "FedEx's Incredible Journey to Success," this book details the phenomenal rise of founder Fred Smith's transport company – from a tiny business to a global corporation whose name has become part of our everyday vernacular. The book is penned by Roger Frock, who was with the company from its very early days. What makes it a standout is that as well as being a fantastic case study of powerhouse logistics management, there's a strong narrative thread, which keeps it interesting and relatable for anyone working in transport. Frock details the incredible human stories behind the company's success, including how Smith kept the company afloat by literally gambling his last money, and how at one stage pilots were paying for FedEx plane fuel out of their own pocket. It's as much about the human spirit and the power of perseverance as it is about business, and shows how, when combined, those elements can come together to change the world.
The Lexus and the Olive Tree
This book has way more to offer than simply an intriguing title. The author, New York Times columnist Thomas Freidman, offers an easily digestible guide to the concept of globalisation and to how technology, money and the spread of easily accessible information are changing the fabric of the world and how it operates. This is an absolute must-read for supply chain managers who are looking to get a handle on the "bigger picture" implications of their internal operations. Friedman has a pin-sharp analysis of the myriad cultural issues that are affected by globalisation, and opines on the preservation of traditions at a local level to ensure a positive future in the face of such dramatic contemporary changes. A superb insight into power and its reach.
The Wal-Mart Way
The Wal Mart Way: The Inside Story of the Success of the World's Largest Company is just that. A highly detailed insight into what equates to the most successful and prolific supply chain in the world. Anyone who works in logistic management has something to learn from Don Soderquist, founder and former CEO of the global giant Walmart. In the book, Soderquist not only relates how the rock steady vision of the company enabled it to grow to such mammoth proportions, but also delves into the role of technology and the importance of operational efficiency at its most basic level. Like all books, there's a twist in the tale, and Soderquist also touches on his deep Christianity and how it affected his unique style of management.
Literature and Learning
Reading is the most powerful tool that we have to not only stay abreast of industry trends, but to also learn from those who have created the benchmarks for success in logistics management. These are just three of the great books about supply chains and logistics (and there are around 57,000 listed on Amazon), so there's no excuse for not finding one that you can stick with to the end!
Norman Dulwich is a Correspondent for Courier Exchange, the world's largest neutral trading hub for same day courier jobs in the express freight exchange industry. Connecting logistics professionals across the UK and Europe through their website, Courier Exchange is the leading service for matching work with available vehicles. They also provide expert articles on logistics management in the freight industry and other related topics. Over 4,500 transport exchange businesses are networked together through their website, trading jobs and capacity in a safe 'wholesale' environment.