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What Is Business Engineering?

B. Turner
B. Turner

Business engineering is a technique in which traditional engineering principles are applied to the business world. This technique relies heavily on science and math, which is in direct contrast to traditional business models, many of which are largely theoretical. The goal of business engineering is to produce measurable results or quantifiable data rather than just an arbitrary improvement or change. Unlike many other business models, business engineering focuses on a holistic approach to problem solving. Rather than simply address different aspects of the business individually, business engineering professionals concentrate on the interaction between different factors within the company and how they impact one another.

The field of business engineering developed primarily to fill the gap between the management and technical or administrative teams within a company. Many of the qualities that make individuals successful in technical fields also leave them ill-equipped to handle leadership positions, and vice versa. Management may have difficulty translating their plans to technical teams, who may in turn find it challenging to develop products and solutions to carry out these plans in the real world. Business engineering acts as a bridge between these two areas, and is designed to help a company not only develop effective goals, but also techniques for carrying out these goals as efficiently as possible. This may require changes in every area of the company, from marketing to administration, to computer systems.

Businessman giving a thumbs-up
Businessman giving a thumbs-up

Another unique aspect of the business engineering field is that it can be applied to a company at any stage of development. Individuals who wish to form a new business can use these principles to select the best product or market, or to refine an existing idea. It can also be used to improve an existing business. This may mean increasing profit or cutting cost, but it can also refer to improving employee satisfaction or retention rates. This process may involve making small changing or incorporating new technologies, or may require a complete redesign of the company and all its processes.

Many see business engineering as a means of generating continuous improvement. For example, a company looking to increase productivity may initiate incentives and bonus plans, then quantify exactly how these methods helped the business reach its goals. As new data becomes available, the company can continuously adjust incentive plans or add resources based on results. The same principles can be used to increase market share, improve morale, or simply maximize profit.

Due to the relatively complex nature of this field, some colleges and universities have created special programs to prepare candidates for a business engineering career. These programs combine traditional business courses with scientific and technical coursework to give students a strong understanding of both fields. Graduate level degrees are also available for candidates with experience in either of these areas who wish to expand their skills and job prospects.

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Discussion Comments


Since business and engineering are vastly different fields, the emergence of combined business engineering indicates how difficult it is to compete in a very technically oriented marketplace.

Any company where those who know how to make the money can work with those who know how to make and continuously improve on the product being sold is bound to be successful.

People have their specific areas of expertise. Business engineering covers all of the bases.

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