7 Must Read Books for Industrial Engineers

You can learn new things and become smart in your job – (1) by doing a professional course and undergoing training, or (2) by reading subject books and applying the learning in work or (3) by working on the job under expert guidance. Out of these, you have full freedom to learn when you choose to read books. In this post, I will share must-read books those will help you in improving your knowledge while working as an Industrial Engineer (work study officer) in the ready-made garment industry.

books for apparel engineers
Cover page of the books
The listed books are generic and may not be specific to the garment industry or industrial engineering. Theories you learn from reading these books can be applied in the garment industry. Like process improvement, method improvement, managing team and work, doing better planning etc. Anyone can read these books and enhance their knowledge and apply the knowledge in garment manufacturing. Here is the list for your reading and honing your skill.

1. Introduction to Work Study by ILO (4th Edition): Editor: George Kanawaty

This book was first published in 1957. This book describes the basic techniques of work-study as practised in many parts of the world, has been widely recognized as the best available introduction to the subject for work study practitioners, teachers and students. It covers method study and work measurement procedures and covers not only machine shops but also process industries, the services sector and office work. Buy this book from Amazon store.

2. Time and Motion Study by Ralph M. Barnes


You know time study and understanding motion economy is must for a good industrial engineer. In apparel manufacturing course these topics are covered superficially. But you must have in-depth knowledge on the following topics those are covered in this book.
  • Definition and Scope of Motion and Time Study
  • Operation Analysis
  • Fundamental Hand Motions
  • Film Analysis
  • Principles of Modern Economy as Related to the Work Place
  • Motion Study, Mechanization, and Automation
  • Determining Time Standards from Standard Data and Formulas
  • Wage Incentive Applications
  • Evaluating and Controlling Factors Other Than Labor
  • Improving the Quality of Work Life at General Motors
Buy this book from Amazon store.

3. The Goal: A process of ongoing improvement by Eliyahu M. Goldratt

This book is a nonfiction novel. Authors of this book explained process management of manufacturing industry by a story. This is a brilliant book that teaches process improvement. Authors teach process management, managing bottlenecks in the production and WIP with real-life studies. You can buy this from Amazon store. Know more about the book

4. The Toyota Way by Jeffrey Like

From book cover, “This book will give you an understanding of what has made Toyota successful and some practical ideas that you can use to develop your own approach to business."--Gary Convis, Managing Office of Toyota

This book covers the fundamentals of Lean manufacturing. This book explains lean as thinking rather than tools. Buy this book from Amazon store.

5. Apparel Manufacturing: Sewn Product Analysis by Grace I. Kunz, Ruth E. Glock

This is a must-read book as you also need to learn about garment manufacturing processes and technology, with the industrial engineering concepts. I read this book in my college days and have one copy in my library. I learned a lot about garment manufacturing technology reading this book. Buy this book from Amazon store.

6. Garment Manufacturing Technology (Prasanta Sarkar)

I have written this book. A guide for beginners those want to enter into garment business. Also, this book is very useful, easy to understand guide for apparel production and fashion students, and IEs those need to learn about the garment manufacturing process. If you planning for starting apparel manufacturing business, I would suggest you have this book in your book list. Know more about this book.

7. One Minute Manager by Kenneth Blanchard PhD and Spencer Johnson M.D.

This book is an old one and written in the 80’s. But it's one of the best books ever written on how to manage people and performance. By reading this small book, you will learn how to manage your subordinates (team). Why this is important to take time explaining the work first and instead of just telling your people what to do? The information in the book can be practically used by all managers. Buy this book from Amazon store.

Also read: How I learned Industrial Engineering and you can learn too

In case I missed any book that is equally important to read for a garment industry professionals (specifically IE), please mention it in the following comment box.

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