Wednesday, November 23, 2016


"Industrial engineers determine the most effective ways to use the basic factors of production—people, machines, materials, information, and energy—to make a product or provide a service"
                                                           Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010

To survive in today’s highly competitive world, industries and business organisations need managers and decision-makers who can apply mathematical concepts and scientific management techniques to resolve technical issues in a cost-effective way. The industrial engineering field has extensively been documented as a major source of management talent. An industrial engineer along with understanding these problems, is able to devise and carry out methods to solve them.  

How They Do IT?

Industrial engineers focus on increasing quality and productivity through:
  • The management of people
  • Methods of business organization, and
  • Technology. 
To increase efficiency and effectiveness, industrial engineers carefully study the requirements of product/service and then to meet those requirements they design manufacturing and information systems with the help of mathematical methods and models. 
They develop control systems such as management control systems to support financial planning and cost analysis, and production planning and control systems to coordinate activities and ensure quality of product. 
They deal with developing or improving the physical distribution systems to provide goods and services to final destinations. They also determine the most efficient plant locations, develop wage and salary administration systems and job evaluation programs. 

They Are Versatile..

Industrial engineers increase efficiency keeping in mind the cost control factors. therefore they are also useful for most industries including nonprofits. 
They are not as specialized as other engineers, hence they are employed in a wide range of other industries, including  hospitals, consulting and engineering services, and research & development firms. 
They are versatile because their expertise focuses on reducing internal costs, making their work valuable for many industries. For example, growth in healthcare and finding ways to deliver best care will create demand for industrial engineers. 

Types of Versatile Problems They Can Solve..

  • They can find out the optimum inventory levels to be kept in the warehouse, or in the super store
  • They can design automated material handling systems for the movement of parts in a factory such as AGV.
  • They can integrate information and control between manufacturing systems, automated guided vehicles, automated warehouse facilities, and management personnel by designing computer-integrated manufacturing systems and decision support systems.
  • They can provide you optimal scheduling cases to operating rooms in a hospital, or production orders in a factory.
  • They can provide you best location analysis whether it is about placing a machine, plant or locating a factory considering the economic and operational perspective. 
  • They can design computer-aided process planning (CAPP) systems that accommodate flexibly to vary the sequence of operations to produce a product.
  • They can determine the optimal route of ambulances through a city, or material handling vehicles in a factory, to minimize travel time.
  • They can develop reliability and quality management systems (QMS) to ensure that a manufactured product is free from defects.
  • They study Ergonomics to improve productivity of workers by ensuring work place safety, designing user-friendly computer graphics systems to assist operators in the monitoring and control of industrial processes.

If you want to increase the efficiency of your organisation...Hire an Industrial Engineer! 

Reference: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition, Industrial Engineers, 
on the Internet at

Monday, February 17, 2014

How to change/correct your name on NADRA CNIC?

How to change/correct your name on your National Identity Card by National Database and Registration Authority Pakistan. It is not such a daunting task and requires maximum of three days for the procedure that you will have to carry out.

Personally going through the process and not finding about it anywhere on the internet I thought I should share with my fellow Pakistanis related to it.

Following are the documents that you should arrange before going to NADRA Office for name change/correction:

  1. An affidavit (halaf nama) on a stamp paper worth Rs. 20/- (can be collected from the court you visit) stating that you have decided to either correct or change your name written in the current CNIC and get it signed by 1st Class Magistrate. This is done from nearby District Courts (Kachehri). 
  2. You will have to give a name change/correction advertisement in one English Newspaper and two Urdu Newspapers e.g. (The Nation, Nawa-e-Waqt and Jang).
  3. Original Educational Documents e.g. (Matric, Intermediate) or any supporting document according to which you are proposing to change/correct the name.
The process inside NADRA Office:
  1. Collect token from teller machine and wait for your number (The toughest patience task)
  2. Upon your turn show your documents to the person on the counter follow his instructions and collect a receipt number from him which will be your identification inside the office for next processes
  3. Go to photo section and get a new shot
  4. Go for thumb impression desk for thumb verification
  5. Go to data entry desk to re-enter your date, this is the point where you have to tell the person that you have applied for name change/correction. Show him your documents again and also check through as he re-enters your remaining details. A print of form will be sent from this desk.
  6. Collect the form
  7. Final Desk will re-check all your supporting documents and will issue you the form with his signatures.
  8. Get this form attested from 18th grade government officer.
  9. Bring the attested form along with supporting original documents (Matric Certificate, Inter Certificate, Affidavit copy, Newspaper cuttings) to the office and visit the counter saying (Form Receiving)
  10. Submit the form and they will tell you time (minutes, days) after which you can collect your CNIC from the CNIC receiving counter. 
Simple, but very tiring and exhausting if you don't know the processes and you are completely new to the office. There are no volunteers to support or assist you in the office. This information might still not be complete or I might be missing out something. 

If so, I would be happy to hear from you about it.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Waste in Software Development

 In my community, we love to say the word waste - from lean - out loud. There isn’t a meeting without mentioning it at least once, and when it is mentioned, the phrase we have to eliminate waste follows. This is something that is very easy to say: eliminate waste. Go to a meeting, and when somebody says waste, jump in and say: ”we have to eliminate the waste!”. People will look at you and nod. But I’m afraid it is not that simple in most of the cases. Eliminating something is way easier than understanding a system, finding the waste and acting properly. Again, acting properly. Immediate elimination seems easy, but most of the times it solves only the local issue, and has a short term effect. So, please stop saying ”we have to eliminate the waste!”, and start saying ”we have to study our system, find out what kind of waste we are dealing with, and where it is generated!”

So, according to Taiichi Ohno - inventor of the Toyota Production System (on the right) -, there are three kinds of waste, which slow down the process by increasing the lead time:

  1. Muda
  2. Mura
  3. Muri

They are very well explained in the car manufacturing context by Ohno, so I’ll put them into a software development context.


Muda is an activity in the process which doesn’t add value to the product. When we are talking about waste we are actually referring to muda. According to the Toyota Production System muda falls into seven major categories.


In other words: defects or bugs. They are the result of poor code quality. Fixing the defects or setting goals on the number of defects in the system won’t eliminate this kind of waste. Instead, it will hide them, or transfer them to a different place. This kind of waste is a well known sign that something is wrong in the process. The right move here is to find the place which is malfunctioning and fix it.


Over-production happens when an organization does not understand the change in the customer demand and therefore produces too much or too early. In other words, you have an existing product, and you are adding features to this product, but they no longer provide value to your customers or they cannot use them at all. For example, adding features to a website which runs only in Internet Explorer.


This kind of waste is generated when we add things to the product that the customer didn’t ask for. Developing these things takes time and money, they unnecessarily increase the complexity of the system, and increase the possibility that new problems will appear. For example, your customer asks for a simple website and you deliver a complete JavaEE solution when a static website have done the trick.


The transportation waste is generated when materials are moved around the factory. Moving materials is expensive and dangerous. Fortunately, we don’t move materials around the office, but we move a lot of information through several unnecessary middlemen. This can take some time and in the meantime the information can change, get lost or become obsolete. For example, you cannot talk directly to the other teams or cannot download logs from the production system.


Motion is very similar to transportation, but it is about the people. This waste is generated when the people have to make rounds in order to get the job done, they are using the wrong tools, don’t have all the information to do the job, or get reassigned. For example, you have to use gedit for javascript development, because your company doesn’t want to buy you a more suitable development environment.


Inventory waste is generated when the output of a phase cannot be immediately used by the next phase, or the finished product cannot be delivered to the customer. For example, your architects are writing you studies about what the system should support next year, but the developer teams cannot pull anything from them for months.


Waiting is a very tricky one, because its quantity is highly subjective: I would say that I’ve been waiting for a long time now after waiting 3 or 4 hours, but my girlfriend would say this after 20 minutes. By definition, the waiting waste is generated when a team member is idle, because he or she cannot do anything at all. For example, testers are waiting for the new package installation to be finished. They cannot do anything (testing, improvements, etc.), because their system is being installed. Pulling a work item from a different queue doesn’t make too much sense either. The installation will definitely be finished before they can finish the pulled item, and finishing the item will delay the real testing work. So they stay idle instead.

One more thing: administration

This kind of waste was never mentioned by Ohno, I made it up myself. The administrational waste doesn’t really fit into any of the categories above, because it generates all kinds of waste. It is generated by the organization itself, mostly by management. For example, a status meeting has no value to the customer (over-processing), it keeps people away from their jobs (motion), and the distributed information changes all the time (transportation).


Muri causes overburden by putting unnecessary pressure on people and processes. For example, asking a junior team member to implement a brand new feature, or using a system which served 1,000 customer requests a day previously to now serve 100,000 requests.


Mura refers to inconsistency, unevenness or unbalanced demand situations in the system. For example, the workload is usually not that high at the beginning of the project, but always becomes high at the end of it. Unfortunately, Mura is a bit underrated, but it is important to know that it generates Muda and Muri. For example, when the demand increases, most of the people start to make mistakes (correction waste), forget important details (transportation waste), have to report more (administration waste) or get reassigned (motion waste). When the demand is lower, we tend to pile up work (inventory waste) or do what we think is necessary (over-processing waste).

Final thoughts

As you can see, it is crucial to understand the demand. Once you understand it, you can start looking for the tasks which generate waste in your process and apply the right technique to eliminate them. You might have realised that there are no suggestions in this post on how to eliminate a certain kind of waste. It is intentional: I strongly believe that there is no generic solution in eliminating waste, and without knowing the context even a seemingly innocuous idea can cause a lot harm of the system.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Industrial Engineers "On the Job"


Industrial engineers design systems for producing goods. They try to use people and machines efficiently.
Most engineers are concerned with creating structures such as bridges or nuclear power plants. In contrast, industrial engineers are concerned about the management of people and equipment. They attempt to design ways of creating goods that use these resources without much waste. For example, engineers try to set up assembly lines so that workers can rest briefly between items. If items move too quickly, workers may work too hard. If items move too slowly, workers may become bored rapidly. Similarly, engineers try to set up production so that machines are almost always in use.

Before they can design systems, industrial engineers must learn about the items being produced. They review the steps that products go through as they are being processed. Engineers learn about each task that workers perform and the machines they use. At existing factories, they also evaluate the current setup of equipment. Once they understand the process, engineers determine the best way to set it up. They use many tools and techniques to do this, including computers, drafting tools, and statistical software. Then, they write reports and create diagrams that show their setup recommendations. They may recommend changing the order in which materials are processed or how many steps different workers complete. They may also design new equipment. Many industrial engineers do mathematical calculations about how their changes will improve production.

Industrial engineers must also monitor the costs and savings of their changes. They also manage the results of their recommendations. They especially focus on the quality and reliability of products or projects. They regularly consult with vendors, managers, and employees to discuss changes and generate ideas. Any time something goes wrong, engineers step in to determine what happened and what needs to be done to fix it.

Some engineers specialize in improving the output from workers. They may suggest ways to encourage workers to work faster or with fewer errors. All engineers keep records of their ideas, designs, changes, budgets, and any problems.

Work Activities

The following list of occupational tasks is specific to this career.
  • Gather information about how products are made.
  • Design equipment, materials, and work space, using drafting tools and computers.
  • Develop the best methods to produce the product. Analyze labor and manufacturing costs and the setup of production equipment.
  • Analyze data and product designs to make sure the results will be of high quality and reliable.
  • Estimate the costs for entire projects and any changes.
  • Draw diagrams of how to lay out the production area.
  • Work with vendors, employees, and managers during all aspects of projects planning and production.
  • Run statistical analyses of how changes will improve the production process.
  • Recommend changes to improve how workers, materials, and resources are used.
  • Manage quality control procedures to keep projects efficient and running on-time.
  • Fix problems as they arise.
  • Make sure accurate records are kept of designs, changes, and any problems.
People in this career perform the following list of tasks, but the tasks are common to many occupations.
  • Make decisions and solve problems.
  • Get information needed to do the job.
  • Identify objects, actions, and events.
  • Use computers.
  • Communicate with supervisors, peers, or subordinates.
  • Monitor events, materials, and surroundings.
  • Provide information or drawings about devices, equipment, or structures.
  • Organize, plan, and prioritize work.
  • Establish and maintain relationships.
  • Think creatively.
  • Analyze data or information.
  • Estimate sizes, quantities, time, cost, or materials needed.
  • Document and record information.
  • Process information.
  • Update and use job-related knowledge.
  • Evaluate information against standards.
  • Explain the meaning of information to others.
  • Provide advice and consultation to others.
  • Control machines and processes.
  • Communicate with people from outside the organization.

Working Conditions

In a typical work setting, people in this career:

Interpersonal Relationships

  • Have a medium to high level of social contact. They talk to managers and workers, but also spend time alone analyzing data.
  • Communicate by telephone, e-mail, and in person on a daily basis. They also communicate by letters and memos, but less often.
  • Are sometimes placed in conflict situations. Clients and coworkers may disagree about the direction of a project.
  • Are responsible for the work done by their assistants.
  • Regularly work in a group or as part of a team.

Physical Work Conditions

  • Almost always work indoors. Some work sites may not have heating or air conditioning.
  • Wear protective attire, such as eye goggles and hard hats, on a daily basis.
  • Are exposed to sounds and noise levels that are distracting and uncomfortable on a weekly basis.
  • Are sometimes exposed to contaminants.
  • Are occasionally exposed to hazardous equipment.
  • May share office or work space with coworkers.

Work Performance

  • Must be exact in their work. Errors could cause workers to be hurt or companies to lose money.
  • Regularly make decisions that strongly impact their employer's reputation.
  • Make decisions that affect coworkers and clients on a weekly basis. They make most decisions without consulting a supervisor first.
  • Set most tasks and goals for the day without talking to a supervisor first.
  • Abide by strict weekly deadlines.
  • Sometimes repeat the same activities.


  • Usually work full time. Working overtime to meet deadlines is common.
  • Generally work a set schedule.

Physical Demands

In a typical work setting, people in this career:

People in this career frequently:

  • Sit for long periods of time.

It is important for people in this career to be able to:

  • See details of objects whether they are nearby or far away.
  • Speak clearly so listeners can understand.
  • Understand the speech of another person.

It is not as important, but still necessary, for people in this career to be able to:

  • Hear sounds and recognize the difference between them.
  • See differences between colors, shades, and brightness.
  • Use fingers to grasp, move, or assemble very small objects.
  • Focus on one source of sound and ignore others.
  • Determine the distance between objects.
  • Make quick, precise adjustments to machine controls.
  • Move two or more limbs together (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while remaining in place.
  • Hold the arm and hand in one position or hold the hand steady while moving the arm.
  • React quickly using hands, fingers, or feet.
  • Adjust body movements or equipment controls to keep pace with speed changes of moving objects.
  • Choose quickly and correctly among various movements when responding to different signals.
  • Make fast, repeated movements of fingers, hands, and wrists.


Sunday, September 16, 2012

UMT-IIE Student Chapter wins Gold Award 2012!

Congratulations! to the Industrial Engineering Student Chapter at UMT, which has garnered national recognition with the Gold Award from the Institute of Industrial Engineers (IIE), honoring student achievement during the 2011-2012 academic years.

The Institute of Industrial Engineers (IIE) Student Chapter at UMT is the premier organized campus chapter. It was founded in January 2011. Prof. Farhan Daud Qazi has served as the faculty advisor of the IIE Student Chapter since its inception.

University of Management and Technology is the only university from Pakistan that has received the Gold Award. This award shows how UMT's Industrial Engineering program students are willing to help each other and serve their community. Their willingness, hard work, commitment, and team work brought this important and prestigious award to UMT. We will soon be arranging a celebration event at UMT-IIE Student Chapter along with our members because it is a big success for all of us!

Students visited local heavy mechanical industries gaining knowledge about the on field industrial engineering applications; organized various functions including membership camp, oath taking ceremony, and orientation for new students, seminars and lectures on important IE topics such as Arena Simulation software. First time ever from Pakistan our student members participated in the Annual Rockwell's Arena Simulation competition and this year participating again. We also conducted the first election in our organization giving chance to the new leadership to come forward and lead the organization to new heights. These are just some of the great achievements of our newly born student chapter which is "God wiling" destined to become one of the best run student chapters of industrial engineering profession in Pakistan.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Pakistan – a heaven for industrial engineers!

IT HAS been a great journey till now and I got to observe the world from a new dimension. Industrial engineering (IE) is really a guru to me in a way that no other engineering discipline could have taught me so well. The characteristic is that it develops a technical and analytical mind into a humane integrated form of an innovator is its endowment to the society.
Having gone through the basic IE education at University of Management and Technology, Lahore, I have become very optimistic rather curious that industrial engineering indeed has a great future in the country. This is a state suffering from inefficiency from upstairs to the downstairs; under developed in virtually every sector of life. It is a place where time studies, process optimizations, operations management, operations research, engineering management, human factors, logistics etc. All at the moment can play a vital role in substantially every section of the authorities.

Government and private departments in Pakistan at the moment are suffering at the hands of corrupt and inefficient leadership. They have made their own illegal processes fast and productive but at the cost of the collapsed native systems. Due to this however, I believe it seems as though government is actually creating job opportunities for industrial engineers in this region; “Seems like we will be having a lot of work to do in the future, ha-ha!”

I have a keen interest in observing processes that I am surrounded with, whether it is to produce a tangible product or to serve in the opposite. In my country, queue lengths which add a lot of waste to a particular system are so common that an Industrial Engineer can earn a living just by attending them. We have lengthy waiting lines in our hospitals, local zoo, admission offices, car parking, restaurants, shopping centers, banks and now even worse we have it at “Tandoors” (a local cooking service, where “roti” a food made from wheat is baked for the poor at a low cost). Every day I sit and ask myself how could I improve these systems and be able to make them more productive for my society. Especially for the hospitals in my local town, we need a lot of extensive research work and dedication to solve various issues regarding hospital management, patient care, data management, its availability and quality.

Pakistan is the 4th largest cotton producer in the world, according to the “Leading producer countries” in Wikipedia. Our agriculture industry is well known in the world. This region is blessed with four seasons of the world with a good balance for the taste of all, especially the summer. This environment thus produces a huge variety of fruits and vegetables. Having said this, we still suffer because we have a very poorly organized and unproductive supply chain for this food to reach out to our own people. In the local fruit markets, the prices are going up day by day due to the severe lack of supply chain management.

Water waste percentage is very high in the country because the system still follows archaic method of flood irrigation which wastes 50 to 60 per cent of water. The most recent floods were such a big calamity because no one was prepared for them in the first place. Every year statistical analysis and departments of weather tell us that we might have a bigger level of floods next year but still this news goes unheard because I believe we have less “industrial engineers”.

Water logging and salinity is increasingly becoming a major source of problem in most parts of the country. Old methods of cultivation and harvesting are the bad source for extensive low yield. These are all in remote areas where there is little or no communication and awareness for the farmer who is the actual person behind the wheels. So, this looks like a job for an Industrial Engineer who is packed with analytical, management and engineering techniques.

Talking about electricity , we are suffering from electricity blackouts which range sometimes from 14 to 16 hours daily. In most of the remote areas we have even total electricity failures this is because our operations are being left unmanaged. The electricity shortages have left the industries jammed. Managers do not have the knowledge today how to schedule the various processes so that it may still be able to cut the loss and be somewhat profitable. Many factories have been subsequently closed down. The role of a super IE does seem very prominent here taking the lead and creating scheduled tasks with ideas and creative solutions to the declining graph of the companies. And I am sure we will!

Lastly, it is not my degree that gave me eyes of an industrial engineer rather it is the membership of IIE that led me to study my world with new spectacles. This view is very different that I had in mind at the time of admission. The new vision has touched my inner human who wants to search out ways to bring out ease for the society by creating a different set using the same elements but arranging them in a more productive way. This is indeed a profession that has the best integration of man, money and machine. And for IIE and all IE community in the world I would say, “Pakistan, a heaven for Industrial Engineers!” because there is a lot of work to do and only industrial super engineers can save the world in this region.

The writer is an undergraduate student at the University of Management and Technology, Lahore, studying bachelors in industrial engineering. He is also currently president of UMT-IIE; a student chapter chartered recently by IIE. He has a keen interest in Ergonomics, Work Study and Analysis and Operations Management.

Click Here for the Article published on TechnologyTimes website

Friday, May 6, 2011

Where IEs Work

Almost every kind of business hires industrial engineers and they work in many different kinds of jobs. These are some of the jobs that IIE members are doing:
  • Anheuser-Busch Inc., Manager of Distribution and Logistics
  • Bose Corp., Industrial Engineer
  • Coca-Cola Consolidated Inc., Business Process Design Manager
  • City of Fort Worth, Management Analyst
  • City of Kansas City, City Auditor
  • Deere & Co., Quality Manager
  • Dell, Inc., Project Senior Consultant
  • Estee Lauder Inc., Director of Industrial Engineering
  • Federal Aviation Administration, Industrial Engineer
  • Hasbro, Business Improvement Manager
  • Hershey Foods Corp., Director of Manufacturing
  • Honda of America Manufacturing, Process Engineer
  • Johnson & Johnson, Worldwide Manager of Ergonomics
  • Kraft Food, Distribution Design Project Engineer
  • Lockheed Martin Missiles & Fire Control, Cost Estimator
  • Mayo Clinic, Director of Patient Financial Services
  • McDonald’s, Real Estate Manager
  • Microsoft, User Experience Manager
  • Motorola, Vice President of Supply Chain
  • NASA Kennedy Space Center, Spaceport Technology Development Manager
  • Naval Surface Warfare Center, Human Systems Integration Engineer
  • Nike Inc., Senior Engineer
  • Northeastern University, Dean of Engineering
  • Payless Shoe Source, Manager of Corporate Quality Assurance
  • Sony Disc Manufacturing, Industrial Engineer
  • Target Corp., Senior Recruiter
  • Texas A&M University, Research Engineer
  • Toys R Us, Industrial Engineer
  • Wal-Mart, General Manager
  • Walt Disney World, Director of Costuming & Cosmetology