Major Changes in the Concept of Industrial Engineering Later in the “Post-Epidemic Era” ?

With the global pandemic of COVID-19, there will be major adjustments in the global economic layout that has been formed. The corporation management philosophy of Industrial Engineering discipline will also be greatly changed.

The new SARS coronavirus has literally closed the economies of the Western world and created a public relations nightmare for China. They’ll leave even more thanks to the pandemic. Many U.S. and Japanese companies will be compelled to go much further in rethinking their sourcing strategies, and their entire supply chains. Japan’s government would spend upwards of $2 billion helping its multinationals leave China. You can see the news in detail from New Data Shows U.S. Companies Are Definitely Leaving China and Japan Ditches China In Multi-Billion Dollar Coronavirus Shakeout.

Producers began manufacturing and sourcing in China for one reason: costs. The trade war brought a second dimension more fully into the equation-risk-as tariffs and the threat of disrupted China imports prompted companies to weigh surety of supply more fully alongside costs. COVID-19 brings a third dimension more fully into the mix­, and arguably to the fore: resilience-the ability to foresee and adapt to unforeseen systemic shocks.

You know Industrial Engineering is the major field centered with the main principle of saving cost and improving efficiency. For example, some classic theories and principles in Industrial Engineering, especially lean production methods, have played an active role in promoting the process of globalization. However, with the outbreak of the epidemic, Western countries have exposed the shortage of many medical product supply chains, and the global supply chain built on the principle of “lean” will be hit hard.

In the future, Western countries will be bound to redefine the scope of “strategic safety” products and will further expand to medical supplies such as masks. The related manufacturing industry will gradually move back from China to their homeland, and the supply chain will be re-arranged in the future. Therefore, Industrial Engineering in the “post-epidemic era” will also play a targeted role in the context of industrial redistribution, not just cost savings and efficiency improvement. This might be a new outlook in our later special research.