Principles of Supply Chain Management


Principles of Supply Chain Management


by Scott Webster

Principles of Supply Chain Management provides a succinct, focused treatment of supply chain management. The three-part structure provides a cohesive framework for the study of the subject. An up-front emphasis on both the connection of the supply chain to the organization and the significance of information technology facilitates quick engagement of students. Students gain the wherewithal to become problem solvers by learning to employ a combination of analysis and intuition in business decision-making.

Add to Cart

Educational Philosophy

The goal of this book is to provide students with a foundation for devising creative and effective solutions to supply chain problems and opportunities. The focus is on developing problem solving skills and insight through:

  • Understanding principles of nature that govern human and system behavior

  • Developing, analyzing, and interpreting simple supply chain models

  • Synthesizing principles and models in the form of key lessons for managers

Principles of nature describe fundamental phenomena in the world around us and, consequently, can be applied in lots of creative ways. A well known principle from physics, for example, is work = force × distance, and many devices take advantage of this principle (e.g., tweezers, pulley, crane, screw, plow, inclined plane, and on and on). This book describes and illustrates 18 principles of nature that are relevant for supply chain management.

Distinguishing Characteristics

  • Organizing framework: This book is organized around a framework that is simple and easy for students to understand—the five basic supply chain activities of buy, make, move, store, and sell.

  • Principles of nature: Principles of nature appear throughout the text. Many supply chain tactics draw on one or more of these principles. As students develop an understanding of these principles, they begin to see the principles in action in everyday life and how this knowledge underlies new ideas for improving performance.

  • Simple models: Simple models of supply chain behavior are developed and analyzed from scratch through example business settings. Students improve their analytical skills and learn how these skills are used to develop insights for managing a system, even without the benefit of years of experience.

  • Managerial insights: Key lessons for managers are presented at the ends of chapters. These lessons draw on principles of nature, models and analyses, and industry practice.

  • Cases: There are 10 cases in total. Nine cases are designed to help students develop their modeling and analysis skills via Excel. A final case is designed to help students synthesize and apply lessons from the book.

  • Writing style: Written in an informal style, including a bit of humor, and sprinkled with many examples from industry.

The book is composed of three parts:

  • Part 1: Foundation

  • Part 2: Principles and Tools

  • Part 3: Synthesis

For Students

  • Chapter PowerPoint files

  • Excel files for case studies

  • Practice quizzes

Click here to initiate file download. 

For Instructors

  • Quiz/exam questions and solutions

  • Solutions to end-of-chapter exercises

  • Case teaching and grading materials

  • Excel spreadsheet to support an in-class activity on the difference between service level and fill rate

  • Sample syllabi

For a list of textbook typos/corrections, please click here. A solution manual is available to qualified instructors upon request.  Please send an email directly to the author, Scott Webster at to obtain the resources.