Industrial Engineer Engineering and Management Solutions at Work

January 2018    |    Volume: 50    |    Number: 1

The member magazine of the Institute of Industrial and Engineers

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Keeping pace with IIE in the November 2011 issue of Industrial Engineer

Around best practices in just one day

Latest agile conferences feature management and supply chain heavyweights

John Crutchfield 
Steve Buffington 

The next two daylong “agile” conferences will focus on managing industrial engineers and how logisticians can best move part A to point B in an increasingly complex world.

John Crutchfield, senior manager of industrial engineering for the Boeing Co., will explain how to keep senior management aware of how a large contingent of IEs benefit the company when he speaks at the Best Practices in Managing Industrial Engineering conference at the Crown Plaza Chicago O’Hare on Nov. 7. Other presenters include D. Scott Sink, lean sigma certification program director for the Department of Integrated Systems Engineering at The Ohio State University, Curtis Burnett, manager of manufacturing engineering at Deere & Co., and David Poirier, CEO of The Poirier Group Ltd.

In February, Steve Buffington, Coca-Cola’s vice president of supply chain development, will let the Best Practices in Supply Chain Management audience know the ins and outs of managing a segmented supply chain for a global company that employs three-quarters of a million people and serves 16 million retail outlets worldwide.

Boeing has 1,500 industrial engineers, one of the largest industrial engineering departments in the nation. Crutchfield has two goals: making sure management continually understands the value that IEs bring in performing high-leverage tasks that improve operations, reduce waste and increase profits, and keeping his IEs assigned to such high-leverage tasks.

Crutchfield, a mechanical engineer by training, notes that IEs have an identity crisis because they lack a single, discrete deliverable that is theirs. A civil engineer can point to a bridge; a materials engineer can point to a new alloy. IEs look at those things and figure out how all the parts work best together and are involved in a wide array of industries and callings.

“Whether you’re talking about forming a new [IE department] from scratch or growing the existing one, we all have the same issue: How do we make sure the executive management of an organization knows what they can potentially get from their IE organization, and how do they make sure they use them in that capacity,” Crutchfield said. “Because it’s very easy for them to drift off into the fire drill of the day or metrics keeper or somebody whose leverage is not being fully utilized. I think what I lend to discussion is what are the struggles of a mature organization using IEs with some history of doing that.”

Buffington said his presentation at the agile supply chain conference will give attendees the chance to see how a global company that has to manage its supply chain from raw materials to the retail shelf makes it work. And more companies are looking at segmenting and dividing supply chains.

At Coca-Cola, for example, the product drives the supply chain up to the point of manufacture. The company’s products include sparkling beverages (carbonated sodas), water, juices, valuated dairy, sports drinks, energy drinks and coffee drinks. Not-from-concentrate fresh orange juice alone is a billion-dollar global brand, Buffington said.

After manufacture, logistics focuses on customers and consumers, which are distinct in Coca-Cola lingo. Most manufacturers deliver products to companies that distribute goods from warehouses to retail outlets. But Coke and some of its competitors, like Pepsi, deliver directly to stores.

How Coca-Cola partners with these customers, the type of channel these customers are in and the assortment of products that they sell contributes to how Coke sets up its logistics system. An additional segment consists of the all-important end-customers who drink the company’s beverages: What they want in taste, in health, in refreshment, in package size and in availability.“

So our supply chains are basically driven by our consumers’ needs and the beverages that we can use to satisfy those needs and our customers’ needs and how we can collaborate better with them,” Buffington said.

Best Practices in Managing Industrial Engineering is scheduled for Nov. 7 at the Crown Plaza Chicago O’Hare in Chicago. More information is available at

Best Practices in Supply Chain Management is scheduled for Feb. 7, 2012, at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta. More details are available at It will be held in conjunction with MODEX 2012, an expo for the manufacturing, distribution and supply chain industries scheduled from Feb. 6-9.

From nothing to lots of it

Networking events and success have skyrocketed at GOErgo's conference

The success of networking at GOErgo’s Applied Ergonomics Conference led to a breakup.

Susan MurpheyWhen Susan L. Murphey joined the conference’s roundtable and networking committee, networking really didn’t exist. By 2011, networking had exploded so much that organizers had to break into separate networking and roundtable panels. Murphey will co-chair the networking committee with Mike Lampl and continue their goal of increasing opportunities for AEC attendees to get to know each other, all while creating an ongoing conduit for sharing knowledge.

“I’m a real firm believer of engaging with others as being the best way to both learn and expand your knowledge,” the president of Essential WorkWellness said.

One new event for 2012 will be a Dutch treat dinner, where attendees can make reservations for dining at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center, where the conference will be held from March 26-29, 2012, or at area restaurants in Nashville, Tenn.

Off-site networking events, which in the past have ranged from cooking classes to cabaret shows, will continue, although those plans are top secret right now, Murphey said.

2011 introduced a first-time orientation session for convention visitors, an idea suggested by first-time attendees the previous year. The meeting helped newcomers find out information such as who could go to master’s track sessions and what a roundtable was.

Murphy, recently named ergonomist of the year by the Puget Sound chapter of the Humans Factors and Ergonomics Society, said it has been rewarding to help transform the networking side of the Applied Ergonomics Conference.

“At first, people weren’t too sure about it,” she remembered. “But it’s really growing, and the energy around it is growing. It’s been exciting.” For more information about the Applied Ergonomics Conference and Expo 2012, visit

For details about GOErgo, go to

New times for Manufacturing and Design

Officers and advisory board aim for division to reclaim its popularity

Iris Rivero, the new president of IIE’s Manufacturing and Design Division, wants to foster an environment that enables discussions of manufacturing issues.  New President-elect Christopher M. Greene hopes to spark new ideas that will help make the U.S. a world-class producer of goods again.  Gül E. Okudan Kremer of Penn State University is the new external relations director. She wants to bring the manufacturing and design communities together.  Ravi Shankar is the Manufacturing and Design Division's new media director. He is an assistant professor at the University of Pittsburgh.  Jingyan Dong reprises his role as secretary of the division. He is an assistant professor of industrial and systems engineering at North Carolina State University. 

Five officers and a three-member advisory board are continuing the drive to resurrect the Manufacturing and Design Division.

Iris V. Rivero, an associate professor of industrial engineering at Texas Tech University, said she wants her presidency to keep fostering a common professional environment for discussing contemporary and emerging issues in manufacturing. At the same time, the division will engage with the manufacturing community to set an agenda for future developments.

New President-elect Christopher M. Greene is an assistant professor of manufacturing and mechanical engineering technology at Rochester Institute of Technology. Greene said it cannot be stated enough how exigent and paramount innovative manufactur-ing is in helping the U.S. economy return to its role as a world-class producer of goods, and he aims to emphasize bringing new ideas to the forefront of development.

Gül E. Okudan Kremer, an associate professor of engineering design and industrial engineering at Penn State University, is the new external relations director. She hopes to bring together the seemingly segregated design and manufacturing communities by generating interest in division activities.

As the new media director, Ravi Shankar, an assistant professor in the Department of Industrial Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh, wishes to enhance the division’s profile within IIE and the broader engineering and manufacturing community. By motivating the interest and involvement of a broad audience, he hopes to reinvigorate the division rapidly.

Secretary Jingyan Dong is an assistant professor of industrial and systems engineering at North Carolina State University. The advisory board committee members are JT. Black, professor emeritus of industrial and systems engineering at Auburn University; Don T. Phillips, the Chevron Professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering at Texas A&M University; and Richard A. Wysk, the Dopaco Distinguished Professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering at North Carolina State University.

Black wants to help the division regain its popularity within the IIE community and build relations with the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) and the American Society of Manufacturing Engineers (ASME), manufacturing engineers, lean engineers and industrial engineers. Wysk expects to cultivate a vibrant, high-energy environment focused on manufacturing issues within the division.

Because the division is being reorganized and had no officers as of September 2010, the five-person board and advisory board were appointed. Selection will transition into an election process early next year when nominations open, with elections set to take place by April 15, 2012.Then the board will enlarge to six as Rivero transitions to past president, a vacant post this year, and Greene replaces her as president.

Better healthcare processes on tap

SHS stacks the deck to make its 2012 conference a winner in Las Vegas

Registration is open for the Healthcare Systems Process Improvement Conference 2012. This is the 24th edition of the conference, which is sponsored by IIE’s Society for Health Systems.David W. Roberts, vice president of government relations for HiMSS, will be a keynote presenter at the Healthcare Systems Process Improvement Conference 2012 in Las Vegas. 

The organizing committee members have continued to improve the conference, and they plan to build on the success of the 2011 event, which had more abstracts than had ever been submitted. Many who visited the Orlando, Fla., location commented that the content was the best yet.

Increasingly, providers, hospitals, doctors’ and nurses’ associations and researchers are turning to industrial engineers and productivity experts to deal with an increasingly complex world, to cut costs without decimating quality, reduce wastes and ensure that care is patient-centered, timely and effective.

David W. Roberts, vice president of government relations for the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HiMSS), is one of the keynote speakers. His perspective is particularly relevant because managing information, improving care and reducing reimbursement costs are becoming even more important as various aspects of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 are enacted.

Dr. Steve Markovich, president of Riverside Methodist Hospital, will make the other keynote presentation. He is a physician, a flight surgeon and a colonel in the Ohio National Guard, where he commands the 121st Medical Group and the medical element of the State of Ohio’s Chemical/Biological/Radiological Emergency Response Force.

Other featured speakers include David Cowan of Georgia Tech, who will talk about advancing career development; Mark Graban of Constancy Inc., who will discuss how to improve at continuous improvement; Doris Quinn of MD Anderson Cancer Center, who will talk about the legacy of W. Edwards Deming; and Bill Schwent of BJC Healthcare and Julie Silver of Johns Hopkins M.H.A. Program, who will discuss data-driven decision making with respect to medication distribution analysis.

The Healthcare Systems Process Improvement Conference will be held Feb. 18-21 , 2012, at The Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas. Student poster abstract submissions are due Nov. 30. The early-bird registration deadline is Dec. 5.

For more information, visit

Hey students, need $5,000?

Rockwell Simulation competition is heating up

Undergraduate students still have time to gather a team of three to reach for the $5,000 first place prize in the IIE/Rockwell Arena Student Simulation Competition.

The team will solve a “real-world” situational case study using Rockwell’s Arena software. Competitors have about eight weeks to develop their solutions for preliminary judging. Three teams will be chosen to compete in the finals, held at the IIE Annual Conference & Expo May 19-23, 2012, in Orlando, Fla. The winning team will be announced at the conference.

For competition guidelines and an entry form, visit The deadline to enter is Jan. 17, 2012. Contact Bonnie Cameron at with questions or concerns.

An honor for the practical

Leadership award recognizes those in the midst of their career

Time is running out to nominate a deserving person for the IIE Middle Career Leadership Award for Industry.

The award recognizes IIE members working in industry who have excelled in their role as a practicing manager/leader within their organizations. They have made a significant impact by using their industrial engineering skills and abilities above and beyond the ordinary expectations of their positions.

The winner will have demonstrated practical value in terms of economic impact and benefit. Senior members of IIE with seven or more years of practicing engineering or supervising or managing engineers in nonacademic positions are eligible.

The award winner will be announced at the IIE Annual Conference and Expo, scheduled from May 19-23, 2012, in Orlando, Fla.The nomination deadline is Dec. 1. Nominations can be submitted electronically at Click here for more information or contact Bonnie Cameron at

Fifth journal on tap

New ergo and human factors publication focuses on people at work

IIE’s fifth refereed journal, IIE Transactions on Occupational Ergonomics and Human Factors, will be out in the first quarter of 2012.

Managing Editor Maury Nussbaum, a professor of industrial and systems engineering at Virginia Tech, said the journal will be published four times a year and will focus on people at work. It is the only journal with a sole occupational focus that is affiliated with a major domestic professional organization.

“It is devoted to compiling and disseminating new and important knowledge on occupational ergonomics and human factors theory, technology, application and practice across diverse areas and using a variety of approaches,” Nussbaum said. “We are committed to enhancing communication and information transfer between occupational ergonomics and human factors researchers and practitioners.”

Topics include, but are not limited to, physical, cognitive and organizational ergonomics and human factors. Multidisciplinary investigations and submissions from practitioners are encouraged, along with submissions using diverse methods and in various formats. Author instructions are available at

The associate editors leading the peer-review process are Amy Bisantz, Ben-Tzion Karsh, Jim Potvin, Nadine Sarter and Jeff Woldstad.

For more information, contact Nussbaum at

Show off your best

Annual conference abstract deadline nears

The deadline is nigh for academics and practitioners who want to present their ideas at the IIE Annual Conference and Expo 2012.

Abstracts are due Nov. 11, and can be submitted electronically at Hopefuls should review the guidelines and make sure they choose the right type of submission: Applied Solutions presentations are for industry applications of proven solutions, and Industrial and Systems Engineering Research Conference (ISERC) presentations are for research from academia or industry scholars.

Prepare for your Applied Solutions presentations to take between 35 and 70 minutes. They should show how industrial and systems engineering principles have benefited industry, healthcare or service companies. Include an abstract, a description and three to five presentation objectives.

ISERC presentations should last between 15 and 25 minutes. Submissions of preliminary research results, works in progress, and significant or final results are welcome. A full paper is encouraged.

The Annual Conference and Expo is scheduled from May 19-23, 2012, at the Hilton Bonnet Creek in Orlando, Fla. Go to for more details.