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“The Universal Mission of Industrial Engineering" 

Versión en Español 

 

Industrial Engineering reaches a large number of applications in the daily performance of multiple organizations. Not limited only to manufacturing industries, but it also can, (and many times should), be applied in all human activity. 

An Industrial Engineer who wants to generate good results in any business will use a simple process that consists of: 

1.Evaluation 

2.Analysis of opportunities 

3.Ranking of opportunities for improvement; this must be done on terms of vital importance in each case such as: 

a.Utilization of Resources 

b.Cost reduction 

c.Redesign of distribution areas or plant 

d.Productivity 

e.Quality 

f.Ergonomics 

g.Cost-effectiveness of improvements 

h.Implementation and analysis of improvement 

i.Adjustment, quality assurance and sustainability of improvements 

This procedure applied to every decision helps enterprises sustain all subsequent upgrades with savings and implicit benefits. It is the most constructive way of seeing investment which is necessarily made with the inclusion of Industrial Engineering. 

According to several decades of experience of our consulting in diverse environments of activity; the biggest obstacle to carrying out this simple process, is generally the culture and traditionalist mentality of the company.  

Even if a business has been successful for a long time, profit margins have been cutting back gradually and steadily in recent times. This is simply the result of unlimited competition. Many small and large companies alike are finding themselves in difficult situations and including large proportions of them reaching the loss of their cost effectiveness, sometimes too late to fix it. Large industries, and small establishments as noble as those of food and construction, which in the past enjoyed high profit margins, are now highly competitive, some of them globally. Exclusivity of market conditions are disappearing at high speed.  

In commerce for example, we see the phenomenon of large "clusters" or groups. As soon as a distributor of footwear establishes a store and is beginning to succeed, immediately he will see appear two or three more in the vicinity, sometimes in next door. Then they will see a branch of some giant within that same field come to the same neighborhood. The giants reach very advantageous arrangements with their suppliers for reasons of their high volume purchasing power.  

In the mind of the consumer, in the end, it is important having the product of reasonable quality at the best possible price. In some cases we are capable of driving great distances in order to get those prices that rarely the small trader can give us. 

This phenomenon has been growing rapidly in commercial businesses and has already entered in the industrial environment. Every day we see the trend to the "mergers" or consolidations of businesses, as well as expansions and diversifications of already powerful companies that decide to go in search of another market taking advantage of their economic resources and its prestige. 

What does this have to do with Industrial Engineering? – A LOT! 

Remember the first three steps that we showed at the beginning:  

1.   Evaluation of the Reality:
Where is this industry going?
 

2.   Analysis of opportunities:
What can be done to take advantage of this?
 

3.   Ranking of opportunities for improvement:
What Action and Strategy should we follow?
 

The first action of the Industrial Engineer  will be asking some questions that sometimes the merchant or Industrial has not had time to ask: 

What is happening in our Industry? 

Many times we are so absorbed in our daily life that we do not have the necessary objectivity, and can even be allowing and possibly, without knowing it, causing a large part of our afflictions. Whatever it is that it is always happening we must pass to the second point: 

How do I adapt and take advantage of what is happening?  

We avoid the opposite side: suffer the consequences of what is happening. 

We must prepare ourselves so that our past experience will help us to confront the present situation successfully. We know the basics of our product but don't know and sometimes ignore the evidence of the change that is happening in our market. The third question here arises: 

What is the Action and Strategy to follow?  

It is better to recognize that we need to make changes to adjust to the new realities. It is here when we can benefit from the support of Industrial Engineering Services. 

The Industrial Engineer must be constantly seeing the business from outside, with great objectivity, looking to take advantage of the strengths of the business, reduce their weaknesses, conform to the trends and recognize threats. 

Read the SWOTT article