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Venturing into the future of industrial engineering with IECON 2022

Showcasing various principles and areas in industrial engineering (IE), the Industrial Management Engineering Society (IMES) held its two-day webinar titled Pioneering What’s Next last June 3 and 4 via Facebook Live. Featuring local and international speakers, the webinar tapped into the importance of IE in industries such as financial technology, startups, and urban planning. The event culminated with a panel discussion on supply chain management and operations. 

Highs and lows

The significance of IE in the field of technology revolves around its flexibility—being a platform for aspects such as human resources and quality management. Growth from Knowledge (GfK) Regional Director of Data Science Francis Miranda discussed this further in his presentation, remarking that their industry is making a difference by introducing artificial intelligence to help businesses make better decisions.

Hackmakers Community Ambassador Felix Veroya likewise talked about industrial engineers in startups and the ups and downs one has to go through in their career path. “There’s [going to] be a lot of low and high points, but it’s really an exciting journey…being someone that’s working in a corporate setup and running a company of your own,” he posited.

Meanwhile, GCash Head of Business Operations and Technology Joanne Avendano emphasized the importance of financial inclusion and literacy in the country, saying that every Filipino should have access to bank accounts for saving money. She further stated that with only less than two percent of Filipinos having credit cards, GCash was created to make wallets accessible to everyone online. 

Avendano elaborated that IE concepts such as customer problem solutions and business cases are applied to GSave and GForest, which are GCash’s additional functionalities. 

Return on AI Institute Managing Director Jojo Ines subsequently went into detail regarding machine learning models and the significance of analytics in data comprehension for businesses. On top of this, he stated that fresh graduates need to look for jobs that use analytics to generate insights from data.

Thinking positive

The succeeding part of the event was a panel discussion involving Disneyland Resort’s IE Senior Manager Paul Fisher, Mead Johnson Nutrition’s Senior Vice President Tonet Rivera, and Hopjump’s Senior Data Analyst Alyssa Caganda. 

To kick things off, Fisher talked about big differences in the IE industry such as data and equipment used. In line with this, other aspects like having a positive mindset and a safe working environment are also essential in creating an impact and ensuring the best results for IE companies.

Rivera then proceeded to offer tips for those pursuing the supply chain management industry—advising everyone to do things faster and to anticipate problems for business continuity. “There is no other person in this company that is better in [the] supply chain than you,” he established.  

Caganda concluded the discussion by expressing her support for cross-functional collaboration and highlighting the importance of problem-solving abilities in addressing unprecedented predicaments.

One step at a time 

“Pursue your purpose. You don’t need to know it now but you will,” preluded Jose Miñana Jr., chief sustainability and public affairs officer of the Jollibee Foods Corporation.  Miñana reminded students to value motivation as much as attitude—a determining hallmark of one’s success. 

Similarly, Jollibee Foods Corporation Chief Human Resource Officer Arsenia Sabado emphasized the importance of starting somewhere—as it matters less about how one starts but more on how one builds from there. He narrated that his 33-year career was challenging, “I felt that I was failing my career…If I didn’t approach [problems] in a constructive way, then my career [wouldn’t] grow.” 

Both Miñana and Sabado delivered that one’s perspective and level of patience in a difficult situation spell the future of one’s career. While the challenge of industrial engineers steepens in society, their resilience and flexibility in the fields of engineering and commerce will allow them to thrive and maneuver around the face of adversity. 

By Gabrielle Lema

By Jericho Zulueta

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