When it comes to running your business, inspiration and lessons can come from unlikely sources. While an engineer might not seem like the first person that would come to mind as a case study for business, engineering methods can be a useful way to improve outcomes for all kinds of businesses.
An engineer is a practical and data-driven person. They aren’t swayed by rhetoric and see problems as challenges to be solved. These skills are valuable for businesses trying to manage all of their moving parts. One of the most valuable skills in an engineer’s toolbox is the ability to run experiments and tinker with the various aspects of a business in order to see what generates the best results.
When a business sees a moderate amount of success, they tend to get stagnant and stick to their playbook. However, over time this can lead to a decline in sales and an increase in missed opportunities to grow a business. An engineer is never satisfied, and they are constantly trying different strategies and measuring results. For instance, an engineer-minded businessperson might decide to try running several different forms of advertisements to see which one has the best effect on sales. Is this risky? Of course, but otherwise you may not ever find out the perfect way to get the results you want.
Dreaming up ways of changing your production process or of making things easier for customers or employees is another skill you might adapt from engineers. Automation is an excellent way to use worker time efficiently, and an engineer has the skill set to help a business figure out the most efficient way to handle customer complaints, or assemble an airplane.
Optimization and Troubleshooting
When something begins to go awry in your business, it can be difficult to track down the root causes of the issue. Something that seems like a design issue could perhaps be related to defects in manufacturing, or something equally difficult to locate. An engineer can troubleshoot and locate the root causes of problems, leading to an efficient solution. Less time chasing dead ends means more time being used for production and real work being done. You might consider looking into someone with a civil engineering online degree from, say, NJIT for more tips that can apply to both business planning and engineering.
Professional Applications for Engineering Education
Many people looking for a career change are choosing to study civil engineering. This practice involves the study of many different systems, all of which relate to a properly functioning city. The interplay of traffic, urban development and the natural world all need to be considered by a civil engineer, and this ability to see the big picture can have excellent applications in the business world. Think of your business as both a machine with many moving parts and a single, unified organism. If you can learn to manage each part of your company like an engineer manages a machine, you will find success in your work.