Nobody Remembers W. Edwards Deming 1900-1993
W. Edwards Deming. How about It—-Does that name ring a bell? Yeah, me neither. I just found out that this one American…was one of the causes of America disappearing manufacturing base.
Remember when everything that was made in Japan was considered cheap? Remember in the 1970’s when Japan kicked our butts in making just about everything that WE invented? Automobiles, radio’s televisions….back in the 1970’s Japan not only made better cars, but cheaper ones. Basically, they broke the car industry here in America. Ford, couldn’t compete.
What many people don’t know, is that the Japanese success was due to one guy, an American named: W. Edwards Deming. And he came up with the concept of “quality control.”
In 1939, Deming had been invited many times to help the American automobile companies with quality control. He had developed some thoughts since leaving the U.S. Department of Agriculture, about how to improve industrial methods, but senior management in these companies had no interest in the “technical” details of quality control. They just hired experts.
Even back then the American CEO’s were thinking too much about their own stock.
After we won the war, Douglas McArthur forced Japan to adopt a democratic constitution and called in experts on the “American Way” to educate the county. His staff found Deming who was an expert on statistical sampling methods, and he was invited to go to Japan to show them how to do it.
The president of the Japanese Union of Scientists and Engineers was so impressed with Deming’s work, that he was invited to teach statistical methods in a group of seminars organized for a broad range of Japanese industry. Deming told them they could go from the cheap “made in Japan” and change all their industries in five years. He told them, that he could show them how, with the proper use of statistical methods of quality control, they could produce products of such high quality and low price that they would dominate markets all over the world.
He was surprised because…the Japanese did it in two.
When Deming came here to give the same advice, nobody attended his lectures. He said it was management’s fault that the American’s were failing to compete, and they didn’t really want to hear that. His points was that all too often management sets impossible standards and makes no efforts to determine if those standards can be met, or if they had the right equipment to meet those standards. They wanted “zero defects” and Deming knew that was impossible.
Basically, he was saying that the way to manage was to expect imperfection, and have the proper management in all aspects of the company to sort of put out the fires as they arose. Quality control becomes a continuous process where the most variable aspect of the production line is constantly being worked on.
So, thanks to the stupidity ¬†of our “American” leaders..the Japanese now dominate the automobile market all over the world. It might have been invented here, but it was one American man who helped Japan take over much of American’s manufacturing base.
All because, the rich CEO’s at the top corporations…did not think.
My family believe in the American way…but we all own Hyundai’s, Toyota’s, and Mitsubishi’s…and we love our cars. Thanks Mr. Deming!
We conquered a nation, and spent more time building up Japan, than concentrating on our own country.
Deming gave the Japanese a panacea of knowledge, that his own countrymen did not want…and it’s one of the reason’s the United States no longer is a manufacturing nation.
We are a “service” economy. And Nobody Knows if that was the plan. I wonder what Deming would say today?—–>