How industrial engineers become architects of efficiency

With the changing times and the imperative to adapt and align with global standards, we frequently overlook people who work tirelessly behind the scenes. These individuals act as problem solvers who devise effective systems and find solutions outside of the box.

Engineers Rodel Emmanuel Adiviso and Jerry Aguinaldo Lim told DAILY TRIBUNE in a Pairfect interview this October the significance of industrial engineering as a growing and in-demand profession, and why they are the people to look out for to help increase economic growth in the country.

“We are curators of change. From time to time, we put together systems that would allow us to generate opportunities to improve the process and to be able to maximize productivity in a sustainable manner,” Adiviso, the founding chairman of the Philippine Institute of Industrial Engineers, said, adding that these growing opportunities would help appeal to investors and improve the quality of life.


As a profession

By definition, industrial engineers, or simply referred to as IEs, are a group of skilled and proficient individuals who develop job evaluation programs and devise systems to make a product or provide meaningful services.

However, their profession calls beyond these duties.

“[We] show how we can translate technical jargons into business management so they can immediately make decisions,” Adiviso said, noting that industrial engineers are considered as “jack of all trades” for being architects of efficiency.

Adiviso affirmed that sustainability is also at the core of their occupation, especially with the increasing traffic, waste and problems that the world faces.

“Sustainability is one of our core elements. In our mathematical computations, we have to reduce waste. So, we apply all possibilities, combinations, iterations in order to minimize waste, to make big contributions to sustainability,” he said.

“As we try to streamline functions, then we would be able to generate a better way of processing things that will not generate waste,” he added. Sustainability is incorporated into devising or designing systems by making the most of natural or available resources that would cut costs and minimize dangerous environmental impact.

ENGINEERS Jerry Aguinaldo Lim and Rodel Emmanuel Adiviso.


As a mindset

More than just a profession, they believe that IEs have a firm mindset that allows them to become resourceful and clever, allowing them to persevere at finding and proposing solutions to problems while making the most out of available resources.

Lim, the president of PIIE and recipient of the Gawad Dr. Pio Valenzuela award under the leadership category in 2008, explained the process of how they simplify complexities and complications in their job.

“We try to find something wrong in the system, that there is always a better way to do things,” Lim said, noting that they do not strictly adhere to a specific formula for everything.

“If there’s one profession that could at least contribute and make things better, that’s the mindset of operation excellence — that mindset of doing things better, that mindset of producing more,” he added.

Adiviso added that this “IE mindset” is a “common thread” that binds them together.

“Imagine the impact of how we look at things and influence certain systems in government and how we can improve it,” Adiviso said, adding that there is so much work they can do to thrive in different fields beyond business and real estate.


As a growing community

PIIE and industrial engineers themselves have come a long way, considering that they are now being recognized by the ASEAN community.

“I hope people become more aware of what IE really does and how it can contribute to nation-building,” Lim said, recalling how industrial engineers have stepped up amid growing challenges.

At the height of the Covid-19 pandemic in the country, industrial engineers are the ones responsible for rapid Covid inoculations in the country, making sure that there is a better queuing and system that would enable many Filipinos to receive the vaccine within a given timeframe.

With the important role that they play in nation-building, Lim and Adiviso continuously find ways through PIIE to professionalize the practice of IE by providing more opportunities for aspiring industrial engineers in the country.

PIIE executes certification and peer recognition programs that allow IE graduates to enhance their skills, gain more opportunities and become more competent and committed to the workforce.

As PIIE marks its 25th year as a flourishing organization, it remains committed to its growing mission of recognizing top-notch and qualified industrial engineers.

“We have a lot of opportunities to give and to build. There is no rocket science about it. It’s a matter of collective effort to contribute in our respective ways to make this country viable and appealing to investors,” Adiviso said.