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Those who want to learn about IE


IE Departments

in Turkey

in the World


Operations Research



Production and Inventory  Management

Supply Chain Management and Logistics

Warehousing and Materials Handling

Project Management


"Industrial Engineering is concerned with the analysis, design, improvement, installation and management of integrated systems of people, finances, materials, equipment, energy and information. It draws upon specialized knowledge and skill in the mathematical, physical, physiological, social sciences and now electronic communications together with the principles and methods of engineering analysis and design to specify, predict and evaluate the results to be obtained from such systems and measure achievement.
In short, Industrial Engineering is an aspect of engineering science devoted to getting the best results from available resources, provided always safety, quality, timeliness, costs and human satisfaction are met.
IE is geared to promoting Continuous Improvement and Best Operating Practices within organizations." (IIE-Australia).

Focusing on decreasing costs and improving efficiency, specific job descriptions and working areas of industrial engineers may vary considerably. As a matter of fact, this reality turns IE unique among all engineering disciplines.
If you want some more information, Learn About IE may help. Also, Occupational Handbook  describes what industrial engineers do.

Selections from IE History
In late 1800's, Frederick W. Taylor, also known as the father of IE, started his research on increasing worker's efficiency. In 1911, his work, The Principles of Scientific Management was published. Here is an essay that nicely abstracts main themes of Taylor's Scientific Management. If you are interested in his biography, follow this link. Scientific Management is also described in History of Business.

In parallel to Taylor's research (early 1900's), Frank and Lillian Gilberth studied human factors, and developed Work & Time Study. Here is a link for their bibliography and research.

Walter A. Shewhart (as early as 1930's), father of statistical quality control, and
W. Edwards Deming (after WW2), a quality expert, are also among the pioneers of modern industrial engineering. Here is more information about Deming and his Systems of Profound Knowledge.

Also, for those interested:
The MACROSCOPE: A New World Scientific  by Joël de Rosnay.
- Toyota's "Ultimate Production System" .
- A web site where you can read some flavored 'facts' about IE history.

Societies and Associations
IIE - The Institute of Industrial Engineers
MMO - Chamber of Mechanical Engineers (Makina Mühendisleri Odası)


Here is what EURO say about  Operations Research
"Though there is no "official definition" of Operational Research ("Operations Research" in the US), it can be described as a scientific approach to the solution of problems in the management of complex systems. In a rapidly changing environment an understanding is sought which will facilitate the choice and the implementation of more effective solutions which, typically, may involve complex interactions among people, materials and money."

CPLEX: Used more for integer programming.
Lindo: Small scale linear programming. Lindo Cor. provides a free trial version .
Lingo: Another optimization software from Lindo Cor. (there is a free trial version for this one, too).
Excel Solver: A product of Microsoft. To pop up the solver, open MS Excel, from the 'tools' menu, click 'add ins', and then choose  'Solver'.
GAMS: This is not an optimization software, but a platform used to edit your model first, and then call a licensed software such as OSL, MINOS, CPLEX...
MATLAB: Provides an Optimization Module. Useful especially if you are dealing with decomposition of linear/nonlinear models. What lacks in MATLAB is an integer programming function.

It is quite up to you to decide on 'which optimization software is the most suitable one'.
In addition to the above mentioned, you may end up using some others such as AMPL, and What's Best! ....

Societies and Associations
EURO - The Association of European Operational Research Societies
INFORMS - Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences
CORS - Canadian Operational Research Society
OR Society - Operational Research Society (UK)
YAD - Yöneylem Araştırması Derneği (Operations Research Society of Turkey)

Michael Trick's Operations Research Page One of the most popular OR web page. You can find information related with OR companies, computer programs, conferences, etc. See its list of online journals and societies. Also computer programs (a search engine at the bottom of the page)
Forthcoming papers of Operations Research from INFROMS, which also provides a searchable database.

Book Suggestion
"Operations Research Applications and Algorithms"  by W.L. Winston 
Duxbury Press; ISBN: 0534520200; Third edition; 1997


The term simulation is used for imitating the operations of several real-world processes (e.g. transportation systems,  material flow and facility layout) using computers.  In some cases, mathematical models that represent these processes may not be so trivial to solve. This is why simulation is used: to derive some reasonable conclusions from our imitations before we implement them.

ARENA: The Arena graphics simulation system is a complete and flexible modeling environment combined with an easy-to-use graphical user interface. It is designed for building computer models that accurately represent an existing or proposed application. Arena integrates all simulation-related functions--animation, input data analysis, model verification, and output analysis--into a single simulation modeling environment.
Simul8: Business simulation software for enterprise-wide use in business, government, education, and any organization that handles flows of orders, people, transactions or products.
AweSim: A general purpose simulation system, yet used more for production systems.
Simsci/Sim4me: I've heard of this one recently. It is realistic to assume that every consulting/software company dealing with math and programming can come up with a simulation software. The first three above are widely used. In the mean time, it is worth to note that MATLAB is useful for certain type of simulation models.

Here is a  survey  made on simulation software..

Societies and Associations
SCM: The Society for Computer Simulation
TOMACS: Transactions on Modeling and Computer Simulation

Book Suggestion
"Simulation Modeling and Analysis"  by A.M Law and W.D. Kelton
McGraw-Hill; ISBN: 0070592926; Third edition; 2000


Professionals in this field try to answer:
-What products to manufacture and when?
-What type of inventory to keep and how much? etc.
-What type of production system/philosophy to use? (e.g. Lean Manufacturing, Mass Production, Flexible Manufacturing, Just In Time (JIT) Production)

It is worth to mention that in today's supply chain world, where customer is the center of all planning activities, these concepts became very much related with SCM and logistics.

If you are interested in the terms used in this field (and their explanations), here are two sources:
- Operations Management terms (in pdf form)
- Glossary of Inventory and Materials Management Definitions

MRP (Materials Requirement Planning) and MPS (Master Production Schedule) are the two tools widely used. These may be as simple as a set of ordinary excel sheets, or may be a part of a state-of-art ERP (Enterprise Requirements Planning) software.

Societies and Associations
APICS - The Educational Society for Resource Management
POMS - The Production and Operations Management Society
NAPM - National Association of Purchasing Management

APICS Magazine
Production and Operations Management (POM) links on the web

Book Suggestion
"Production and Operations Analysis" by S. Nahmias
McGraw-Hill; ISBN: 0772312653; Fourth Edition; 2001


"Logistics is the process of planning, implementing, and controlling the efficient, cost-effective flow and storage of raw materials, in-process inventory, finished goods and related information from point of origin to point of consumption for the purpose of conforming to customer requirements." (from CLM)

IOLT has some more to add on top of the above definition:
"-Logistics is the time-related positioning of resource, or the strategic management of the total supply-chain
 -The supply-chain is a sequence of events intended to satisfy a customer
 -It can include procurement, manufacture, distribution, and waste disposal, together with associated transport, storage and information technology
 -The application of logistics is essential to the efficient management of the supply-chain
 -Transport is an integral part of the supply-chain, not only between the sequence of events but during the processes "

ERP software that integrate almost all the processes of a supply chain are widely used by medium/large scale firms. SAP and ORACLE are among those companies that produce state-of-art ERP programs. Yet, not all the firms can afford to hire a consulting company; creating an in-firm ERP software is managed as well.

Here is a link provided by Dr. Sayın:  The ABC's of ERP

Societies and Associations
CLM - Council of Logistics Management ( search for abstracts of logistics related articles)
IOLT - The Institute of Logistics and Transport
IWAL - International Warehouse Logistics Association- (industry definition of Logistics;  glossary of termsissues & trends)
SAPICS - The Educational Society for Supply Chain, Manufacture and Logistics in South Africa
LSCMS -Logistics & Supply Chain Management Society-Singapore (you can also subscribe to LSCMS's weekly newsletter)

SCMR - Supply Chain Management Review (White papers/Case studies)
About Logistics & Supply Chain - provides various links, supply chain articles and other resources for logistics and supply chain professionals
For a similar, but less effective link, click here.

Book Suggestion
"Business Logistics Management" by R.H. Ballou
Perentice-Hall; ISBN: 0137956592; Fouth Edition; 1999

"Quantitative Models for Supply Chain Management" by S. Tayur, R. Ganeshan, and M.J. Magazine
Kuluvert; ISBN: 0792383443; First edition, 1998


The following phrases are taken from ASQ:
"Quality is not a program; it is an approach to business.
 Quality is a collection of powerful tools and concepts that is proven to work.
 Quality is defined by the customer through his/her satisfaction.
 Quality includes continuous improvement and breakthrough events.
 Quality tools and techniques are applicable in every aspect of the business.
 Quality is aimed at performance excellence; anything less is an improvement opportunity.
 Quality increases customer satisfaction, reduces cycle time and costs, and eliminates errors and rework.
 Quality isn't just for businesses. It works in non-profit organizations like schools, healthcare and social services, and
government agencies. Results (performance and financial) are the natural consequence of effective quality management"

Societies and Associations
ASQ - American Society for Quality
APQC - American Productivity & Quality Center
QFDI - Quality Function Deployment Institute
KalDer - Kalite Derneği (Turkish Society for Quality)


The following paragraph is from the Ergonomics Society: What is Ergonomics?
"Ergonomics is about 'fit': the fit between people, the things they do, the objects they use and the environments they work, travel and play in. If good fit is achieved, the stresses on people are reduced. They are more comfortable, they can do things more quickly and easily, and they make fewer mistakes."

Societies and Associations:
Here is a list of ergonomics societies.


Societies and Associations
WERC - Warehousing Education and Research Council
WERCSheet - Free Newsletter Issues from 2000 and 2001 at the bottom of the page (also, free publications ).
WM - Warehousing Management

Warehousing Questions & Answers
MMH - Modern Materials Handling


Project Management is not a main field of Industrial Engineering. However, the 'tools' (Operations Research-Scheduling) used should be familiar to IE's; indeed, there are IE's working as project managers. If you are interested to take up some undergrad/grad level Management courses, Project Management should be there, too. Here is a link  that provides what the topics look like (and some more).

MS Project: A Microsoft product
Primavera: Widely used.

It is not so difficult to learn how to use these project management software. On the other hand, they are not the only two, there are others, and moreover, if you are good at MS Excel and macros(Visual Basic), you can build up one for yourself, too. From this web site, you can get some sample programming.

For free web-based project management software, here are two links:
- Directory of Project Management Software

Societies and Associations
PMI- Project Management Institute
ASAPM - American Society for the Advancement of Project Management
AACE - Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education

- A  web site about CRM, PERT and GANTT methods
- A course  web sites providing Elements of Project Management, The Gantt Chart, CPM/PERT and POM in pdf format
- Project management with examples
- A presentation that covers CRM and PERT

Book Suggestion
Here is a link for CPM and PERT books by year

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