Industrial Engineers are Innovators

By Krystle Modina, Corporate Warranty Engineer for JAC Products and IIE Greater Detroit Chapter Member

At the 2013 IIE Great Lakes Regional Conference, hosted by the University of Michigan, I realized one of the best things about being an industrial engineer is having the opportunity to innovate!  According to Larry Burns, former VP of R&D and strategic planning at GM, innovation changes the way we live, we cannot remember life without it, and is global and large scale.

Providing innovative solutions requires that the system and product design be driven by customer experiences.  It is essentially the customer who decides whether a business is successful.  A customer remembers negative experiences better than positive experiences.  In fact, it takes 10 positives to negate a negative, so it is essential for businesses to be customer focused to survive.  IEs play a critical role in business survival because they are able to investigate integrated systems and use the information gained to determine the most effective way to meet customer needs.

According to Joel Brown, Senior VP of worldwide operations at OpenTable, Inc., businesses have the biggest opportunities for improvement where there are interfaces between functions.  Industrial engineers are best able to take advantage of this opportunity because they are able to integrate combinations of people, material, information, equipment, and facilities, to design efficient and innovative organizations.

 Indeed, IEs are key to business success, since IEs are best at designing, developing, and validating the integrated systems that will turn tomorrow’s science into sustainable and positive customer experience.

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1 Comment so far

  1. Srikanth Srinivas Iyer

    Agreed. In fact, my experience tells me that a well meaning IE will have the understanding of an organization’s ecosystem, whose value is best understood only by CEOs or knowledgeable and experienced business owners.
    IEs are capable of understanding the breadth (functional requirements) as well as depth (ground level process to profit connectivity) which seldom sees a parallel in people entrenched in other roles/ functions with equally good qualifications but devoid of taste for role/ opportunity.

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