Book Review: Smart guide to SCM

09th June 2009
Book Review: Smart guide to SCM

SCM or Supply Chain Management is one of those fashionable buzzwords of the Information Technology Services business  that are much bandied about,  but rarely, properly understood.  If you want to change all that,  Janat Shah's  book* is the place to start.

A mechanical engineer from IIT Mumbai and a Fellow of IIM Ahmedabad, Shah has been visiting  scholar at the MIT Sloan Institute of Management and a visiting faculty at  the Logistics Institute of the National University of Singapore. He is now a  professor ( production and operations management) at IIM, Bangalore as well as special professor, Nottingham University Business School (UK). 

His book is a smooth and seamless mix of  concept and application,  hard core information and  lucid explanation -- with a dozen illustrative case studies. 

I found the book can be read at two levels: For those fastidious few who are unhappy unless  every concept is reduced to a graph or a formula, Shah provides that aplenty. If maths put you off, you can skip the  numbers and still derive  benefit because every section, from  outsourcing to inventory management to network design, is embellished with little boxes of interviews of leading players in  that area  from Bharti Airtel to Titan. 

And when it comes to the case studies, Shah has not succumbed  to the temptation of so many Indian experts  and produced a book aimed at a vaguely defined international  reader. This is a book by an Indian -- for Indian readers -- and  the case studies are  ones we can relate to and understand: Subhiksha, Marico, Kurlon....

I am no expert on SCM  nor need I write an exam on the subject;  but I  nevertheless  found my understanding my concepts and understanding, sharpened and improved after a quick read of Shah's book.  And at  the asking price it's great value for lay reader and student alike. For instructors, the Pearson website offers registered users,  chapter by chapter power point slides and a teacher's guide:

*SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT: TEXT AND CASES; By Janat Shah,  large paperback; Rs 375; Pearson Education, Delhi, India

(Anand Parthasarathy; Bangalore June 10 2009)