Industrial engineers analyze methods and processes associated with the production of goods and services to increase efficiency while decreasing financial, material or workforce waste. Industrial engineers work in a variety of industries including manufacturing, government, non-profit and business administration.
To increase efficiency, industrial engineers may analyze current production schedules, manufacturing processes and workforce utilization practices. Engineers make recommendations based on past and present performance rates, quality control ratings, number of employees and cost. Engineers must take into consideration the current workforce, types of equipment and length of time needed to produce quality goods and services when making recommendations. In addition, engineers may conduct tests to determine the best ways to produce goods and provide services. These tests often involve observing employees at work and performing time tests to determine how long specific procedures and processes take. Equipment and technology tests may also reveal ways to improve efficiency.
Safety, environmental issues and business costs are concerns that industrial engineers must address when recommending new processes and procedures. Once a new process is introduced, engineers continue observing and testing to determine if the process is effective and efficient. If not, industrial engineers must re-evaluate to make improvements or to try a different process.