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10 Books that Every Procurement Professional Should Read

Top Ten Procurement Books-2

Procurement professionals are lifelong learners.  They need to understand their current role (i.e., what is procurement anyway? And what are the best ways to do it?). They need to understand the categories they manage so they can provide sound advice and negotiate effectively. And they need to understand what's next so they can prepare for the future, both as individuals and as strategic partners to the organizations they serve. 

At ORO, we pride ourselves on being 'Procurement Geeks.'  We're voracious readers (It's rare to have a meeting without some (often obscure) literary reference). So we asked ourselves: what are the top ten books that every procurement professional should have on their bookshelf? Here's what we came up with.


Trade wars, pandemics, and chaos: How digital procurement enables business success in a disordered world by Dr. Elouise Epstein

Recommended by Sudhir Bhojwani (Co-Founder & CEO, ORO Labs)

Trade wars, pandemics, and chaos- How digital procurement enables business success in a disordered world"This book is my personal favorite since it goes in-depth on strategies that work the best when it comes to digital procurement. Procurement has evolved significantly from a mere cost control function to becoming a strategic business partner. The book provides insights into how procurement professionals are leading the way in driving innovation, promoting sustainability, and championing social responsibility. Reading this book has been an eye-opener in many ways, helping me to understand the nuances of modern procurement. It helped me see the procurement landscape through a new lens, and to understand how substantial investments in digital procurement solutions are revolutionizing traditional practices."


How to Hack Your Supply Chain: Breaking Today, Building Tomorrow by Dr. Elouise Epstein

Recommended by Lalitha Rajagopalan (Co-Founder, ORO Labs)

How to Hack Your Supply Chain- Breaking Today, Building Tomorrow "I would recommend anyone involved in the field of supply chain to get their hands on Dr. Elouise Epstein's latest book. It's a beacon of light in the chaotic world of supply chain management. This book couldn't have come at a more perfect time. Supply chain leaders face a whirlwind of technological advancements, higher customer demands, and mounting security threats. Suddenly, supply chain management has taken center stage. I love how Dr. Epstein delves into the secrets of turning a mountain of data into actionable insights and empowering professionals to thrive in a constantly disrupted environment. She also offers valuable advice for enhancing cybersecurity, fortifying physical security measures, and efficiently navigating the ever-changing global landscape. Filled with wit and practical examples, this book is essential reading for operations experts, supply chain aficionados, and anyone eager to shape the supply chains of the future."                             


The Art of War by Sun Tzu

Recommended by Sabih Rozales (Architect, ORO Labs)

The Art of War"I think that laying the groundwork for a strong professional image can make all the difference in your procurement endeavors.

Having led global digitalization and business transformation projects and operations across supply chain management and purchasing, I frequently return to this book’s principles to navigate decisional crossroads and to predict and steer away from conflicts even before they occur."


The Procurement and Supply Manager's Desk Reference by Fred Sollish & John Semanik

Recommended by Timothy Harfield (Head of Product Marketing, ORO Labs)

Produrement Desk Reference"I highly recommend this book for anyone new to procurement who wants to understand the full scope of the function and how it all hangs together. I read this from cover to cover and continually refer back to it. The discussion of procurement technologies is a little dated, but anything written about technology is bound to be out of date within a year or two of publication. The concepts and strategies described in this book are sound and very relevant, and I truly believe it’s important to have a grounding in a discipline before introducing supporting technology. The only thing I would have done differently is to buy it in hardcover instead of as an ebook to make it easier to use as a true desk reference. I still might do that."


Spend Analysis: The Window Into Strategic Sourcing by Kirit Pandit and H. Marmanis

Recommended by Bharath Channakeshavaiah (Senior Director of Product, ORO Labs)

Spend Analysis- The Window Into Strategic Sourcing"Spend analysis is the superhero of strategic supply management. it's the essential starting point for achieving top-notch performance. Missing out on digging into your spend data means missing out on a treasure trove of improvement opportunities beyond the obvious wins. I recommend Spend Analysis by Pandit and Marmanis because it's the only book that serves as a true blueprint for spend analysis and how to do it in the supply chain. Use it as your go-to resource for understanding what spend analysis truly entails, and how to propel your journey toward world-class performance. It's got the executive scoop and the nitty-gritty details for all you practitioners out there. Procurement, supply chain management,        ops, and finance honchos, as well as practitioners and consultants — this one's a must-read for all."


Sustainable Procurement: A Practical Guide to Corporate Social Responsibility in the Supply Chain by Jonathan O'Brien

Recommended by Pascall (Kempen) van Mastrigt (Business Development - Europe, ORO Labs)

Sustainable Procurement- A Practical Guide to Corporate Social Responsibility in the Supply Chain"Jonathan O’Brien is one of the trailblazers in the field of procurement. In this book, he sheds light on the shifting focus towards ethical sourcing in the supply chain. His practical tools offer invaluable guidance for organizations and procurement professionals looking to establish sustainable procurement programs that benefit all stakeholders. In today's procurement landscape, these tools are essential for achieving desired outcomes and aligning procurement with strategic goals."


Procurement, Principles, and Management (11th Edition) by Peter Baily, David Farmer, Barry Crocker, David Jessop, David Jones

Recommended by Graham I. Moore (Business Development & Sales - Europe, ORO Labs)

Procurement, Principles, and Management (11th Edition)"This book has been the bible of procurement for professionals and students in the field for almost 40 years now. I'd recommend reading the latest revision of this book, the eleventh edition, as it addresses a lot of current emerging trends while also applying the tried and tested age-old wisdom. This book discusses everything procurement - from fresh chapters on outsourcing, corporate social responsibility, and e-procurement systems to updated material on time compression, global sourcing, and contract performance measurement. My favorite aspect of this book is that it contains links to academic studies  and industry practices that can enrich the readers' understanding of procurement."


Bad Buying: How organisations waste billions through failures, frauds and f*ck-ups by Peter Smith

Recommended by Polly Kruse (Head of Customer Advocacy and Global Events, ORO Labs)

Bad Buying"A great easy-to-read procurement book for both procurement professionals and those in other lines of business. 

Bad Buying is a fun read that shares the pitfalls of procurement through relatable case studies and is sure to leave you with some helpful advice on what not to do in your own procurement organization"


Transformational Procurement: An Introduction to Key Procurement Concepts and Real Value Creation by Mark L. Milen

Recommended by Matt Hugo (Head of Sales, ORO Labs)

Transformational Procurement- An Introduction to Key Procurement Concepts and Real Value Creation"Consider this your ultimate playbook for mastering modern procurement practices. Packed with practical tips and tricks, this guide is your ticket to organizational success.

Dive into the following chapters for strategic insights and transformative concepts that will steer your structure towards data-driven milestones, unlocking tangible value and securing long-term prosperity."


Profit from the Source: Transforming Your Business by Putting Suppliers at the Core by Christian Schuh,  Wolfgang Schnellbacher,  Alenka Triplat,  Daniel Weise

Recommended by Matt Hugo (Head of Sales, ORO Labs)

Profit from the Source- Transforming Your Business by Putting Suppliers at the Core"Profit from the Source" by Christian Schuh and his colleagues breaks down how companies can boost profitability by nurturing strong relationships with their suppliers and focusing on maximizing value, rather than solely chasing the lowest price. I've found this book to be one of the most insightful in procurement as it offers proven strategies to drive both bottom-line and top-line growth for your company."