IBM Tucson people and professions

The following is a text extract from the IBM "Tucson Dedication 1980" booklet.

Behind the mission, the organization and the products is GPD [General Products Division] Tucson's most valuable resource -- people. Nearly 4,000 strong, IBM employees at the site come from all walks of life. As diverse as their backgrounds are their specialties. Their range of skills include engineering, administration, manufacturing, accounting, chemistry, math, physics, law, planning, marketing and countless other disciplines. Yet they share much in common, most notably an extraordinarily high level of energy and creativity. They are the kind of people who make things happen. They are involved in their work and their community. GPD Tucson's people and hundreds of thousands like them throughout the world are the main reason the IBM Corporation is where it is today -- at the forefront of the information processing industry.

The following are text extracts from the "IBM Tucson: Invitation to Excellence" brochure published in January 1982.

Industrial engineering

Industrial engineers at IBM Tucson play a central role in virtually every major decision concerning the manufacturing facility's operations. Industrial engineers must combine both business and technical skills to find the most cost-efficient solutions to problems faced by plant management.


Human resource planning affects every function and department in the plant. Industrial engineers are responsible for advising plant management on how many people each area should be allocated to most efficiently accomplish its mission. Industrial engineers must be familiar with the needs of every function, and be able to forecast how those needs will be affected by changes elsewhere in the plant.

In a business as dynamic as data processing, space requirements must constantly be adjusted as customer demand for each product increases or decreases, new products are introduced, old products move to new locations, and departments change in size. Industrial engineers determine how much space should be allocated to each department — once again, a decision that requires familiarity with the operation of the entire plant.

Once it's decided how many tape drives, printers, DASDs [direct access storage devices], Mass Storage Systems and circuit cards should be manufactured in Tucson in a given period, it's up to the industrial engineers to decide exactly how that will be accomplished. No decisions are more central to the operation of the business.

Cost engineering

Equally important is the question "How much will it cost to manufacture each product?" Again, plant management turns to industrial engineers to help provide the answer. Cost estimates for both new and existing products, for the entire Tucson product line, are the responsibility of industrial engineers, along with their counterparts in the development lab.

Manufacturing support

Once the number of people and amount of space necessary to manufacture a product has been determined, it's necessary to design the actual layout of the manufacturing area. Warehousing space and material handling systems also must be planned. All this is the responsibility of industrial engineers.

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