All heart and beyond technical:  How IECEP's Benjz Sevilla engineered a much-needed shift

From the eyes of outsiders looking in, the world of Electronics Engineering may be too technical and impenetrable. For Engr. Benjz Gerard Sevilla, Institute of Electronics Engineers of the Philippines (IECEP) National Treasurer, it requires more than just technical expertise to succeed. It took a lot of courage, and a lot of heart to adapt to a transforming industry for the sake of the institution and its members, especially over the course of the last two years.

IECEP has been steadily growing with 90,000 members, over 40 local chapters, and 10 overseas chapters around the world. With this growth comes the task of offering their specialized brand of education to the public, a task that has been a challenge for Engr. Benjz and the organization.

And rise to the challenge they did.

“To be the showcase of professional and technical development and the paradigm of excellence.” Engr. Benjz said.

When it’s a world-class organization like IECEP, it takes a lot of know-how and big decisions in ensuring the organization’s future, to say Sevilla had it in him would be an understatement.

Engineering the changes

It used to be easy to offer seminars face-to-face. However, in 2020 and 2021, the organization had to adjust and make compromises. IECEP did this by waiving one mid-year conference and by carrying out general membership conventions online for free.

Such challenges and glitches in the system called for rewiring and Engr. Benjz knows when changes need to happen.

Rewiring the system: going digital

Introducing digital payments was the first step. Deviating from the usual deposit scanning and manual validation steps, they’ve been able to simplify the process.

“Now, we’re able to validate their payments in real-time, so it’s faster and more convenient for our members,” Engr. Benjz said.

The law creating Electronics Engineering is unique, as it highlights the role of the profession in trailblazing the use of information and communications technologies. Being the first to transition to digital payments and accepting members fully among other Accredited Professional Organizations (APOs) is a big deal, a milestone in fact.

“In hindsight, we want to be leaders in this industry. As far as we are concerned, when it comes to other APOs, we're the first one to transition to digital payments and processing memberships and events fully virtually,” he added.

Going hybrid one step at a time

June of this year was when IECEP learned to accept the new setup by holding their very first hybrid event in Davao with over 400 live and 1000 online participants.

Engr. Benjz is proud to say that all member interactions are now finally online.

All in perfect timing

So how did PayMongo help them make that shift?

One of the major challenges for the organization was payments. IECEP was then accustomed to scanning deposit slips and manually validating them.

PayMongo came in just in time for the organization's digital transformation. This ease made payments more convenient when it came to memberships and events.

“When PayMongo launched, we had this initiative to embrace digital transformation in the organization,” Engr. Benjz said.

While setting up the organization's PayMongo account himself, Engr. Benjz discovered how processing payments became easier with PayMongo, from real-time payment validation to audit logs.

The power of projection was one more thing that worked in IECEP's favor. Since face-to-face events were coming back, the payments helped them foresee if upcoming event slots were already full.

“The payments help us foresee if we're reaching our targets, if we're projecting correctly. PayMongo Pages helps us see if slots for a given event is full, then we'll close down the registration already,” said Engr. Benjz.

Since then, their cash flow and collections have improved a lot. Now, they have more streamlined bank statements with only 2 to 3 entries a month.

"What PayMongo has done for us is already amazing. But if we're able to integrate this into our website, then better," he added.

Back in full swing

The IECEP is slated to host its annual membership convention back-to-back with the National Student Summit this November. For sure, there may be challenges ahead but with Engr. Benjz at the helm, there's nothing a few adjustments can't fix.

Engr. Benjz Gerard Sevilla is an Electronics Engineering graduate from Ateneo de Manila University. He formerly was the Chief of Staff of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) Undersecretary, and practiced in the field of National ICT Plans and Policies Development. As of writing, he is government relations manager of the Philippines' first techglomerate.

Published date:
September 1, 2022
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