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15 Procurement Books for Today’s Professionals

  • By ProcureDesk
  • January 04,2024
  • 10 min read

15 Procurement Books for Today’s Professionals

procurement books

When increasing your procurement skills, nothing does it better than investing your time in reading a quality procurement book.

The other way to learn faster is to practice the skill often.

So, we have compiled a list of some awesome books every procurement professional should read to improve their digital procurement skills.

We have tried to map each book to a specific skill that can be improved through these books.

Here is a list of key skills which every procurement professional must have

  1. Empathy
  2. Social Responsibility
  3. Collaboration
  4. Negotiation
  5. Financial Aptitude
  6. Data Analytics
  7. Domain Knowledge
  8. Spend Analysis

If you like to read more about these skills to be one of the leading supply chain professionals, you can read about Key skills for procurement professionals.

Here is the list

1.How To Win Friends And Influence People- Dale Carnegie

how to win friends - Dale Carnegie

Why Read This Book?

This is a classic read, and no matter what job you are in (whether you’re a procurement practitioner or simply interested in sustainable procurement), this is a must-read because of all the valuable insights it brings.

Carnegie talks about how to connect with people and develop human relationships.

It is no secret that stakeholders enjoy working with procurement professionals they like. Collaborating in procurement projects with people you enjoy working with becomes easier.

So, use this to understand techniques to make that happen.

Also, it is not just about liking; this book will also help in developing techniques to win people to your way of thinking.

Seems beneficial when it comes to working with people along the procurement process, don’t you think?

Skills areas: Empathy and collaboration

2. Never Split The Difference- Chris Voss

never split the difference

Why Read This Book?

Negotiation is a key skill for procurement professionals, and who could be a better teacher than an ex-FBI negotiator?

So, without a doubt, this is a procurement book you might want to add to your arsenal of good reads!

In this book, Chris Voss and Tahl Raz talks about a different negotiation technique.

You would learn techniques that he has implemented in negotiating the release of hostages. We won’t spoil your fun, but you will be impressed with some of his techniques.

You may be surprised that your learnings from this book can help you correct some disruptive procurement issues you’re currently facing.

Skill area: Negotiation

3. Extreme Ownership: How U.S Navy Seals Lead And Win- Jocko Willink And Leif Babin

extreme ownership

Why Read This Book?

Jocko is an ex-navy SEAL, and in this book, he lays out his experiences from the battlefield and the role of extreme ownership in leadership.

Now, whether you are leading a team on the battlefield or leading a procurement team, the experience and principles equally apply.

Some key nuggets from this book

  • The leader is accountable for the outcomes of his team. You can’t blame the failure to achieve goals on your team members. The key insight here is that the leader is responsible for looking ahead, planning, and identifying gaps in your current team (if any).
  • No bad teams, only bad leaders, causing bad buying- who potentially cause a disruptive procurement process

Skills areas: Empathy and collaboration. As you look at growing your career as a procurement manager or leader, this book is a must-read.

4. The Goal- Elliyahu M. Goldratt

The goal

Why Read This Book?

This business book is written as a fable where the author walks you through a very dry subject of production planning and the theory of constraints.

But it is such a well-written book that you would probably re-read it multiple times in your career as you become one of the most seasoned procurement managers.

The book tells a story about a manager who takes over a production plant where deliveries are always late. And then, the author takes you on a journey where you learn how to plan around constraints.

Procurement does not deal with production constraints but would definitely help you better appreciate how to work around any constraints in business and deal with your supply chain network better.

Great supply chain strategies can go a long way!

Skill area: Collaboration

5. Getting Past No- William Ury

Getting Past No

Why Read This Book?

This is a classic book on negotiation and a must-read for any procurement professional.

The book provides tactical advice on how to deal with negotiations in difficult situations. As all procurement professionals understand, communication is key in any negotiation. This is very important when it comes to boosting supplier performance.

How to communicate the message, which means persuasive and effective communication. Effective negotiation also requires that you control your emotions.

This book covers many of these subjects in depth and gives you tactical advice on negotiation.

Skill area: Negotiation

6. Getting To Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In- Roger Fisher, William Ury, Bruce Patton

Getting to Yes

Why Read This Book?

You might have heard about increasing the pie in vendor negotiations. This is a classic book that lays out this principle very well.

The book’s main focus is to help readers understand the difference between principle-based and position-based negotiation. When you start with position-based negotiation, you focus only on your interest.

But when you shift the focus to principle-based negotiation, both parties can come together to discuss the main issue rather than their position.

In this way, both parties can come up with a solution that satisfies the needs of both parties and handles professional disputes well. In other words, creating a win-win for vendors and customers.

Skill area: Negotiation

7. Influence: The Psychology Of Persuasion – Robert B. Cialdini

Influence_Psycholgy of persuasion

Why Read This Book?

Procurement always tries to persuade others while they ride the digital buying process.

Whether it is your suppliers for getting better pricing or working with your stakeholders to get the best value for your company.

In this book, Cialdini identifies 6 key influences of persuasion.

Namely – Reciprocation, Commitment & consistency, social proof, liking, authority, and scarcity.

Some people criticize this book, suggesting that it provides weapons to manipulate others. We don’t think so, I would rather know what influences are in play in the day to day decision making process because you might be on the receiving end of that.

Skill areas: Negotiation, Empathy, and collaboration

8. Emotional Intelligence- Daniel Goleman

Emotional Intelligence By Daniel Goleman

Empathy is a key skill for procurement professionals, but how do you develop empathy?

Read this book to understand how to develop emotional intelligence – called EQ. It should give you practical examples on how you can use Emotional Intelligence in your daily life.

In this seminal work, Daniel Goleman explains what emotions are and the interrelation of the cortex and limbic system. That also explains how the brain processes rational thoughts and emotions.

Skill area: Empathy

9. The Procurement Value Proposition: The Rise Of Supply Management- Gerard Chick And Robert Handfield

Why Read This Book?

The Procurement Value Proposition- The Rise of Supply Management by Gerard Chick and Robert Handfield

Robert Handfield is a well-known name in the field of procurement. Hanfield is also a Bank of America University Distinguished Professor of Supply Chain Management in NC State’s Poole College of Management.

I would say you can call this book – “All you ever wanted to know about procurement.”

This book covers the evolution of procurement function, how procurement is adding value, and what it can do to add value in the future.

The books cover what the authors called an “ACE model.” ACE stands for Aspirations, Capabilities, and Execution.

Aspirations – The leader’s responsibility is to define a clear vision for procurement and a strategy to support that vision. Of course, the vision needs to be aligned with corporate goals.

Capabilities – An honest assessment of the current capabilities to identify gaps in supporting the vision defined by the Chief Procurement Officer.

Execution – Measurement of how well the strategy is executed by the business.

Skill area: Strategic Sourcing, Procurement

10. Good To Great- Jim Collins

Good to Great _Jim Collins

Why Read This Book?

Have you ever wondered what makes some companies great?

Jim Collins answers that question in this book. In this book, the author talks about 5 levels of leadership – Highly capable individual, Contributing team manager, competent manager, effective leader, and level 5 leader.

This book is a must-read even if you are just entering the corporate world because it will help you develop a perspective on leadership in general and your company’s leadership.

Skill area: Financial aptitude

11. The First 20 Hours- Josh Kaufman

The first 20 hours by Josh Kaufman

Why Read This Book?

Whether you are learning a new domain or a new skill, for example, spend analysis. Practice is the key to becoming competent in any skill.

Now, I’m not sure, but you might have heard about 10,000 hours rule. Malcolm Gladwell, in his book – Outliers: The Story of Success, talks about the 10,000-hour rule. Essentially, you need to put at least 10,000 hours into a skill before becoming an expert.

But what if you don’t need to become an expert but conversant enough in a new domain or skill?

This book answers that question. Josh breaks down the process of new skill acquisition and walks readers through how he has put this into practice to learn 5 new skills.

As the title suggests, the idea is that you can acquire a skill by putting in 20 hours. Becoming an expert is another question!

Skill area: Learning a new domain

12. The Procurement And Supply Manager’s Desk Reference

The Procurement and Supply Managers Desk Reference

Why Read This Book?

As the name of the book suggests, it is a reference book.

In this book Fred Sollish and John Semanik details out the whole sourcing process and detailed steps required at each level. For example, requirements gathering, solicitation of bids, developing supplier selection criteria, contracts, and legal aspects of procurement.

The books also cover other important topics like supplier diversity, sustainability, etc.

Skill area: Strategic sourcing

13. Nonviolent Communication: A Language Of Life- Marshall Rosenberg

Nonviolent Communication- A Language of Life by Marshall Rosenberg

Why Read This Book?

Effective conflict resolution skills are key for any individual now, whether that is a conflict at home, with a co-worker, or with a stakeholder.

Language plays a crucial part in conflict resolution. As per Rosenberg, there are 4 key steps to the conflict resolution process.

Observation – observation of facts without passing judgment.

Feeling – How do we feel?

Need – What is the need behind the feeling?

Request – How you should address your request for fulfilling the need.

The book is filled with examples and exercises, which would help you gauge whether you have understood the subject matter.

Skill area: Empathy, Conflict resolution

14. Negotiation

Why Read This Book?

WIthout a doubt, mastering negotiation is a pivotal skill in effective management.

In this book, Roy Lewicki along with David Saunders and  Bruce Barry dives into the essential concepts and theories that underpin the psychology of bargaining and negotiation.

While particularly relevant for human resource management and industrial relations candidates, its comprehensive coverage makes it an indispensable resource for a broad spectrum of management which is applicable in procurement.

Skill area: Negotiation

15. Procurement Principles And Management In The Digital Age

Why Read This Book?

Embark on a comprehensive exploration of purchasing and procurement with “Procurement Principles and Management in the Digital Age.”

Authored by Baily, Farmer, Crocker, and Jessop, this 12th edition meticulously captures the evolving landscape of purchasing and procurement.

The book adeptly balances the integration of emerging philosophies with time-tested, established thinking, and practices within the profession. Dive into the dynamic world of procurement, where digital advancements meet proven strategies, providing readers with a well-rounded understanding of the field’s latest developments.

Skill area: Data Analytics

The Bottomline

We hope this list of books with an easy-to-read approach can help you. Improve a very important aspect of your business- your procurement process!

There is no doubt that these resources can help you become a great procurement professional at the forefront of innovation.

Happy reading!

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