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Industrial Engineer Engineering and Management Solutions at Work

July 2014    |    Volume: 46    |    Number: 7

The member magazine of the Institute of Industrial Engineers

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Work Perfect

The day we strive forKathy Erickson

Kathy Erickson

Regional industrial engineering manager
FedEx Express
Framingham, Massachusetts 

I’m a regional industrial engineering manager for FedEx Express. My responsibilities include overseeing a team of 11 engineers located throughout the northeastern U.S. and planning/controlling the engineering support for all operating locations in the Northeast.

My team and I forecast, plan and prioritize all engineering functions within the market to support achievement of operational business plans. This includes monthly budget development and resource allocation, asset requirements planning, system form/product movement alternative analysis, and customer or holiday surge planning.

We also perform productivity analysis to determine what’s working well and recommend alternatives where improvement opportunity may exist. We use a variety of IE tools in this analysis and feedback role. Quality-driven management principles and tools are a cornerstone in our approach. My team and I also support market ramp/aircraft operations, local pickup, delivery and sort operations, regional initiatives and corporate projects.

The best part of my job is the daily interaction with people. Each day, we prioritize the work that needs to be done, and new variables are added to the operating scenario. I am grateful for having a nationwide network of talented people to work with every day.

The underlying planning and engineering work is similar. However, there is a constant stream of new variables, different operating scenarios, as well as new technology. For that reason, my “perfect day” would be a day where I set good priorities, I kept things moving forward, and I had an opportunity to find a little humor or share a positive note with my team or my peers.

As the industry coordinator for the Purdue IIE Chapter, I worked with local industry to set up panel discussions and facility tours with their IEs. I’d like to increase my involvement with the local IIE chapter to offer that same kind of industry outreach to IE students.

– Interview by David Brandt 

David Brandt is the Web managing editor for IIE. 



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