Students and engineering professionals highlighted digital innovations and corporate success in industrial engineering through the Industrial Management Engineering Society’s (IMES) annual flagship event, Industrial Engineering Convention 2023 (IECON2023), with the theme “Digital Frontiers Reimagined”.
The event was held last March 25 at The Verdure of Henry Sy Sr. Hall and via Facebook Live and featured talks from industry experts on the automation of traditional practices, technology, the internet of things, and manufacturing digitization. After the talks, students were divided into breakout sessions that tackled research and data analysis, logistics optimization, internet procurement, and financial technology.
In the opening plenary, Coalition of Filipino American Chambers of Commerce Senior Director for Internal Relations Lorenzo Formoso (BS-IME, ‘81) reminisced about his digital journey, which dated back to when office operations were done manually through analog devices. He then emphasized the significance of now-digitized workplaces that have eased communication, inventory, and management. “Because of digitalization, integrating parts of the business via software, you have the capacity to be efficient and meet new people even with your laptops,” he stated, citing his own experience speeding up the inventory process when he managed the container control system of Aboitiz Shipping Corporation.
Despite the need for technological advancements, sustainability should still be at the forefront of digital development. Formoso posited that businesses must consider the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals when it comes to digitizing operations.
The alumnus also argued that practical knowledge and managerial skills are critical to succeeding in the field of industrial engineering. “I don’t want you to stick with the books, your computers, your calculators. That is not enough. That is only 60 percent of the ball game. The 40 percent is knowing how to deal [with] and manage people,” he stressed.
Nissin-Universal Robina Corporation Vice President and Business Unit General Manager Teree Eugenio echoed similar sentiments in his talk, encouraging students to gain experience by collaborating with professionals in the same field. “You listen, you observe, and you challenge things. That’s how you learn from others,” he asserted.
Meanwhile, Benjamin Azada of Converge ICT Solutions shared his experience in incorporating the company’s sustainability goals while working on its customer care and operations management system. He also affirmed that graduates of the program are equipped with the engineering and business skills necessary to thrive in various professions, highlighting that his own career encompasses risk management, system organization, and consultation.
All presenters stressed that adaptability and managerial skills are at the core of thriving in the fast-paced digital sphere of industrial engineering. “You have to be adaptable. You have to be flexible. You cannot be a person who will force what you believe in on everybody. You have to respect what they feel, what they think, and then manage it in such a way that you harness whatever this is to be able to gain whatever objective you have,” Formoso emphasized.