The Top 7 Must Read Procurement Book for Supply Chain Professionals

10 Feb

Previously I have written blogs about Best Supply Chain Books and Best Logistics Management Books. Both blogs has done well and received lot of appreciation and feedback from Supply Chain community. Some of you have asked which procurement book is best available.

Before I start, is procurement purchasing? Or, is Purchasing procurement??? That is the question!
Well, in a broad sense, the answer is yes to both but there is a difference – a big difference…..

Often used interchangeably with purchasing, procurement is an umbrella term for ‘a sequence of steps involved in the acquiring (procuring) of a product with purchasing being one of the steps of the procurement process’.

Therefore, by the above distinction, the procurement of the product involves processes including planning and determining of the product as well as value analysis and price negotiation all before the final purchasing of the product is made which will thus hopefully be successful, meaningful and a profitable acquisition.

This is one of the more fascinating and complex of processes within a supply chain with many branches of specialisms within it in their own right all of which must ultimately lead to the procuring of a product that must reflect what the company stands for and how it determines the consequential stages of your supply chain.

My blog will look at the 7 best procurement books I believe to be the best in helping you in not only understand procurement in a general sense but also some of it’s specialisms so as to help you develop a solid foundation whether you are studying, are a practitioner of procurement or simply want to learn so as to help you understand the concepts to be your own boss.

1. Procurement, Principles & Management (11th edition) –By Peter Bailey, David Farmer, Barry Crocker, David Jesson and David Jones

Well the first thing that you will probably notice is the price – but this procurement book, to use a fashionable term – is an investment piece!!

This book is neatly divided into 3 parts starting with an introduction on the objectives of Procurement, then exploring issues that can arise and finally discussing the different types of applications. It therefore allows you to zero in on the chapters you need. It is very easy to read and understand, and since it has been updated and re-published over a period of over 50 years, to say the authors understand how procurement and supply chain has evolved and changed and use that knowledge to better explain methods and practices is an understatement. This strategic procurement book offers a wealth of knowledge as well and an understanding that all will benefit from.

2. The Procurement and Supply Manager’s Desk Reference – 2nd Edition. By Fred Sollish, John Semanik

I have just one request from my readers about this book: Just read the introduction of the 1st Chapter! It is, quite literally, the perfect balance of getting the reader excited to read on but also makes them believe that they have chosen a field where ‘they’ really can – once they devour the knowledge this desk reference has to offer – make a real impact into the success of their company’s future.

The one thing that really stood out with this wonderful reference procurement book, was it’s initial chapter that covered in a succinct manner the key terms such as finance, understanding procurement and Time of Performance, to name but 3, and how they are defined from a procurement perspective. This sets you up so well to read, understand and apply what you learn here, into the real world almost immediately. Give this procurement book a try, if you are new to Procurement, you would love the easy-to-read approach, giving you a fantastic introduction yet the right balance of in-depth knowledge into this world, and for all the professional practitioners you will wonder why you hadn’t picked it up sooner!

3. Spend Analysis: The Window into Strategic Sourcing 1st Edition – By Kirit Pandit & H. Marmanis

To continue to make an effective purchase of a product that is in line with your company’s ethos as well as remaining profitable you need to conduct a spend analysis. This provides a forecast of a particular product to show if it continues to ‘tick all the boxes’.

This is the only strategic procurement book on Spend Analysis that I believe is a must-have for all specialists in this branch of procurement. It is quite simply brilliant.

Easy-to-understand for beginner through to advanced practitioners; this book provides much needed history of the subject before progressing smoothly into the mechanics and principles of how to conduct spend analysis, providing case studies that really help put the concepts into perspective. This best procurement book really will save your business money.

4. Supplier Evaluation & Performance Excellence. By Sherry R. Gordon

Procuring a product is not just about making the purchase but ensuring that your supplier doesn’t let you down. Supplier evaluation is a part of procurement that allows you to manage and measure supplier performance.
Sherry R. Gordon has written an all-you-need-to-know comprehensive guide to supplier evaluation so as to achieve performance excellence – exactly as the title intended!
It is another procurement book to add to your collection of procurement related titles. It gives you a foundation about how to build a supplier performance management program by providing an exhaustive set of metrics and guidelines required.
The content is step-by-step and easy to read – highly recommended.

5. Law of Purchasing and Supply – Third Edition. By Margaret Griffiths and Ivor Griffiths

As much as we want to leave the legal-bits to professionals qualified in the Law field, it really is beneficial to have knowledge particular to your specialism as at the very minimum it can provide you with an insight into common pitfalls to avoid as well as ensuring you know how the law protects you should the purchase of the product does not live up to the expectations or have flaws that can cause problems and your rights and what you can do to protect yourself.
My key reference point for deciding if I want to feature a book in my blogs is how easy is it to read. This book lives up to this for me. Given I’m not a legal eagle by any stretch of the imagination, I found this book unexpectedly engaging and accessible. It very quickly dispelled my weariness towards the thought of having to read a book on law as I could find myself thinking of various scenarios for each aspect I read through which were laid out in a logical straightforward manner.
A key useful aspect in this procurement book was the end-of-chapter quizzes, which helped you encapsulate what you learnt. A very good read.

6. Essentials of Negotiation – 6th Edition. By Roy Lewicki, Bruce Barry and David Saunders

Well, in order to get the best deal for a product, you need to have excellent skills of negotiation. This is the first of the 2 books I would highly recommend. ‘Essentials of Negotiation’ provides superb illustrations of the concepts being described thereby adding to your understanding of the multi-dimensional art of negotiation.

This procurement book will help in developing your confidence in negotiation with ease and efficiency.

The last book I would recommend in this blog is….

7. Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In – By William Fisher, Willian L. Ury & Bruce Patton

I absolutely love the common sense of this book and how you can potentially change any negotiation, conflict or dispute into a win-win solution.
The book is to the point, well written without all the confusing jargon that can be a turn off.
It’s one of the few books on procurement that does live upto it’s reviews particularly it’s easy approach that is useful to all grade of practitioner.

In Summary

So, by no means is this an exhaustive list of the many fantastic books on Procurement, however, these are the ones I have found to be the most useful when I have needed to refer to books to gain or further develop my knowledge. Happy reading!


  • Ryan Faruk

    Omid Ghamami’s book on Purchasing not included?

  • Felix Cabrera

    Sir, any used books that I can buy at the lowest price?

  • Simphiwe

    Hi I’m in South Africa and would like to purchase all these books.

    Where can I find them.

  • Manuel Farias

    Dear Muddassir your list is very interesting but I find it is missing two of the “classical” Procurement books:
    * Purchasing and Supply Chain Management (now in its 6th Ed) by Robert M. Monczka , Robert B. Handfield, Larry C. Giunipero & James L. Patterson.
    * Purchasing: Principles and Applications (8th Ed) by Paul V. Farrell, Stuart F. Heinritz & Michael G. Kolchin.
    And finally I will suggest one more that I have found in my experience to be especially useful:
    * The Purchasing Chessboard: 64 Methods to Reduce Costs and Increase Value with Suppliers (3rd Ed) by Christian Schuh, Joseph L. Raudabaugh, Robert Kromoser, Michael F. Strohmer, Alenka Triplat & James Pearce.
    What do you think of my suggestions?

    • Muddassir Ahmed

      Dear Manuel, they are brilliant suggestion. I have added them in the list of books to review next and promote to supply chain community. Regards,

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  • Teresa C. Barney

    I am curious what book, if you had to only pick one, would you recommend to someone who is not yet in procurement; but would really like to learn in hopes of moving into this position. At the very least, learn more about it to decide if it is really the next step they want to take in their career

  • Prince

    if you are new to procurement domain than you must refer Tender Process ebook. the best for beginners. to understand the procurement and its process.

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