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Summer is here and you're on holiday from work - but that's no reason for your brain to take a poolside nap! When you're working in the bustling sphere of global business, you can't afford to take a break. The consumer world is always advancing and changing, so keep your mind sharp, nimble, and ready to help drive your company forward.

Now, we're not advocating that you take your laptop on your family holiday. Instead, here are 4 of our favorite summertime reads, which you can peruse during your vacation's downtime, wherever these sunny months take you. Reading books about supply chain strategy can help bridge the divide between work and play. We've picked a handful of titles to keep your brain buzzing with new ideas, so you'll return from the holidays feeling ready to take on any SCM challenge.

1. The Power of Resilience: How the Best Companies Manage the Unexpected

Published in 2015, Dr. Yossi Sheffi's The Power of Resilience delves into how events around the globe can affect supply chains everywhere. Focusing on select case studies regarding the aftermath of a tsunami, worker strikes, and air shipment delays, Sheffi reveals how proper supply chain strategy can overcome disruptions in any company's chain.  

His arguments hinge from the belief that risk management requires constant negotiation between the hazards involved in creating new products, finding new markets, and trying new procedures. The Power of Resilience teaches readers how to create a company with versatile practices, so one issue inside their supply chain won't derail the company's entire operations.

2. Ninety Percent of Everything: Inside Shipping, the Invisible Industry That Puts Clothes on Your Back, Gas in Your Car, and Food on Your Plate 

Another title focusing on supply chain strategy is Ninety Percent of Everything, Rose George's tour de force from 2014. George chronicles the dangerous reality of shipping goods overseas, including shady operations, environmental damage, and yes, even pirates. Her book is an excellent choice if you want to go behind the scenes of SCM. She gives you a rare look inside freight shipping, riding these often-dangerous vessels herself to bring you the full story. Readers will also enjoy George's writing for its cutting wit and her engaging flair for storytelling. She conveys critical information with page-flipping urgency, making Ninety Percent of Everything a compelling summer read for SCM experts. 

3. X-SCM: The New Science of X-treme Supply Chain Management

Co-authored by a trio of SCM experts from the University of Maryland in 2010, X-SCM is an examination of how international companies are able to thrive in today's unpredictable, hazardous business world. Aiming to enhance your supply chain strategy, the authors tackle complex issues like how to enhance the science of SCM, so that international companies can keep up with rapidly shifting market demands. X-SCM argues that current supply chain strategy needs a complete overhaul. These experts suggest a new concept called "X-treme Supply Chain Management", which would facilitate fast assessments of risks and offer improved responses to disruptions. Overall, X-SCM is a fascinating read for out-of-the-box thinkers who are craving change in their commercial industry.

4. The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution 

If you're interested in digital strategy, The Innovators by Walter Isaacson is the book for you. Known for his acclaimed biography of Steve Jobs, Isaacson focuses on how several entrepreneurs, inventors, and visionaries who laid the stones for computer programming and the Internet. Most importantly, the book showcases how supply chain shipping methods were enhanced with the digital revolution. 

Released in 2014, The Innovators still holds valuable lessons in how amazing individuals brought their powerhouse ideas to the forefront, changing the world forever with their innovations. It's an inspiring read for anyone with big SCM dreams who isn't entirely sure how to transform their visions into reality.

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About Michael Wilson

Michael Wilson is AFFLINK'S Vice President of Marketing and Communications. He has been with the organization since 2005 and provides strategic leadership for the entire supply chain team. In his free time, Michael enjoys working with the Wounded Warrior Project, fishing, and improving his cooking skills.

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