Industrial Engineer Engineering and Management Solutions at Work

August 2014    |    Volume: 46    |    Number: 8

The member magazine of the Institute of Industrial Engineers

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Numbers are not enough 

Numbers are not enough 

The beauty and elegance of lean Six Sigma and other continuous improvement initiatives is that the same set of tools, techniques and methods can be used across the full range of processes from drinking a cup of coffee to the entire operation of a multinational corporation. The shared commonality is that a sequence of steps is performed to produce a desired output. However, the tools of lean Six Sigma are limited and constrained by the quality of the measured data.
By Brandon Theiss

Innovate or die

Innovate or die 

Peter Drucker provided great advice about how to identify opportunities when he said, “Within every problem lies at least one disguised business opportunity.” Today, the list of “Why can’t anyone develop a product that … ?” questions is almost endless. In a world where companies are desperate to find ways to increase their total sales revenue — which often includes reckless expansion and acquisitions — an almost infinite number of problems remain to be solved.
By Stephen C. Harper and Thomas W. Porter

Ergonomics hitches a ride

Ergonomics hitches a ride 

By integrating ergonomics into sustainability and repackaging successes from ergonomics programs, there is a huge opportunity for ergonomics professionals to capture attention in the boardroom. This visibility will help get programs and solutions funded and bring ergonomics into strategic boardroom discussions, which can result in more proactive programs. This will benefit not only employees but the triple bottom line of the company.
By Jessica Ellison and Danny Nou

Determining what healthcare should be

Determining what healthcare should be 

Like so many continuous improvement initiatives, best practice identification, development and implementation can be staged around typical project management elements. Common sources for defining best practices typically center on Internet searches, professional journals and internal experts. However, clinical operations personnel may resist any form of a work standardization initiative. Reasons for this may be cultural in nature.
By Tedd Karr