While Industrial Engineers may not invent a particular process, we have been at the forefront of any new technology that emerges and finding useful ways of utilizing them. I don’t know who invented bar coding but I have used it to great advantage in some of my projects as I am sure most other IE’s have. RFID technology is another innovation that has been put to good use by IE’s. The implementation of ERP software has created new opportunities for IE’s. A staple of IE’s everywhere is the use of new and better CAD systems. The creation of specialized tools/machines for specific applications has greatly enhanced productivity. These and many other technological advances are tools that we all have used to implement cost improvement and better product flow. Some of the lower tech companies with which I consulted have benefitted from the introduction of a PC. That was certainly innovative for them.
So, have IE’s been innovative? I think the way that we use the new tools that are now available is our innovation.