W. Edwards Deming
William Edwards Deming was an American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

A statistician is someone who works with theoretical or applied statistics. The profession exists in both the private and public sectors. The core of that work is to measure, interpret, and describe the world and human activity patterns within it...

, professor
A professor is a scholarly teacher; the precise meaning of the term varies by country. Literally, professor derives from Latin as a "person who professes" being usually an expert in arts or sciences; a teacher of high rank...

, author
An author is broadly defined as "the person who originates or gives existence to anything" and that authorship determines responsibility for what is created. Narrowly defined, an author is the originator of any written work.-Legal significance:...

, lecturer
Lecturer is an academic rank. In the United Kingdom, lecturer is a position at a university or similar institution, often held by academics in their early career stages, who lead research groups and supervise research students, as well as teach...

  and consultant
A consultant is a professional who provides professional or expert advice in a particular area such as management, accountancy, the environment, entertainment, technology, law , human resources, marketing, emergency management, food production, medicine, finance, life management, economics, public...

. He is perhaps best known for his work in Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

. There, from 1950 onward, he taught top management how to improve design (and thus service), product quality, testing, and sales (the last through global markets) through various methods, including the application of statistical methods.

Deming made a significant contribution to Japan's later reputation for innovative high-quality products and its economic power.

I think that people here expect miracles. American management thinks that they can just copy from Japan—but they don't know what to copy! The MIT Press

In Europe and in America, people are now more interested in the cost of quality and in systems of quality-audit. But in Japan, we are keeping very strong interest to improve quality by use of methods which you started....when we improve quality we also improve productivity, just as you told us in 1950 would happen. (pg. 2)

Defects are not free. Somebody makes them, and gets paid for making them. (pg. 11)

Part of America's industrial problems is the aim of its corporate managers. Most American executives think they are in the business to make money, rather than products or service...The Japanese corporate credo, on the other hand, is that a company should become the world's most efficient provider of whatever product and service it offers. Once it becomes the world leader and continues to offer good products, profits follow. (pg. 99)

The supposition is prevalent the world over that there would be no problems in production or service if only our production workers would do their jobs in the way that they we taught. Pleasant dreams. The workers are handicapped by the system, and the system belongs to the management. (pg. 134)

We cannot rely on mass inspection to improve quality, though there are times when 100 percent inspection is necessary. As Harold S. Dodge said many years ago, 'You cannot inspect quality into a product.' The quality is there or it isn't by the time it's inspected. (pg. 139)

Foremost is the principle that the purpose of consumer research is to understand the customer's needs and wishes, and thus design product and service that will provide better living for him in the future. A second principle is that no one can guess the future loss of business from a dissatisfied customer... (pg. 175)