What is a Industrial and Systems Engineer?

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Updated August 4, 2020

In the most simple of terms, an industrial and systems engineer could be called a high-stakes problem solver and adviser. When businesses need sharp facility management to operate successfully, there are many factors to account for that could be overlooked without a dedicated specialist on the job to identify and resolve them.

The overall role of industrial and systems engineers centers around the responsibility to draft and propose better productivity solutions. These engineers serve their companies by using their knowledge to optimize better protocol for tangible business operations related to transportation, inventory, energy utilization and more. The following are some of the most common and important tasks that these system-fortifying engineers will use their engineering expertise to accomplish on a regular basis.

Resource: 30 Best Online Master's in Industrial or Systems Engineering Degrees

Ironing out optimal cargo delivery details

While it may not immediately appear to be a strictly technologically-oriented job, establishing the specific details for cargo load and delivery plans can be a very important tasks for these engineers to take on if the nature of the business necessitates it. By functionally applying their knowledge of how to organize well-advised industry operations, the engineer can map out a reliable strategy for setting up the best possible plan for the most efficient load placement, delivery methods, transporration routes, delivery vehicle sizes, the volume of delivery vehicles to utilize in a cost-effective manner.

Facility output and capacity optimization

Engineers serving the best interests of their industry will often be actively involved in the process of determining whether or not the business is addressing subtle, undetected inefficiencies that could be hurting its profitability. The facility's overall capacity and product output may or may not be at ideal levels. The storage capacity of the facility could be underutilized, cost-ineffective, insufficient, or just a slight modification away from being optimal.

The company may have more room to boost their manufacturing volume, or a practical need for a manufacturing cutback. The workforce may be inefficiently sized and scheduling plans may not be utilizing it to its full potential. Whatever the case may be, the system engineer can help out immensely by advising management on what the best course of action to take in these easily overlooked areas may be.

Facilitating smarter inventory management, supplier partnership choices and customer relations

In addition to addressing any issues with the way that the facility goes about its workflow operations, industrial engineers may also lend their insight to bettering the management and storage of inventory in the supply chain. Though not public relations professionals by trade, engineers can improve the system of information disclosure to the business's customers. Industrial engineers can also assist the making of better decisions on supplier partnerships by projecting the most likely implications that said partnerships would have on the facility's efficiency.

By actively applying their engineering expertise, the systems engineer essentially acts as both the company's sword and shield in the fight for productivity. In addition to developing effective system plans to make the most of the company's resources, engineers also take the helm in executing their contingency plans whenever they're needed.

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