W. Edwards Deming Quotes

Quotes in business

There are four prongs of quality and four ways to improve quality of product and service:

- Innovation in product and service
- Innovation in process
- Improvement of existing product and service
- Improvement of existing process

The common mistake is the supposition that quality is ensured by No. 4, improvement of process, that operations going off without blemish on the factory floor, in the bank, in the hotel will ensure quality. Good operations are essential, yet they do not ensure quality. Quality is made in the boardroom.

A bank that failed last week may have had excellent operations— speed at the tellers’ windows with few mistakes; few mistakes in bank statements; likewise in the calculation of interest and of penalties and loans. The cause of failure at the bank was bad management, not operations.


Nothing can do you so much harm as a lousy competitor. Be thankful for a good competitor.

More quotes by   Alfred Politz view quote details

Profit in business comes from repeat customers, customers that boast about your product and service, and that bring friends with them.


It will not suffice to have customers that are merely satisfied. An unhappy customer will switch. Unfortunately, a satisfied customer may also switch, on the theory that he could not lose much, and might gain.


A company could put a top man at every position and be swallowed by a competitor with people only half as good, but who are working together.


New product and new types of service are generated, not by asking the consumer, but by knowledge, imagination, innovation, risk, trial and error on the part of the producer, backed by enough capital to develop the product or service and to stay in business during the lean months of introduction.


In God we trust, all others must bring data.


American management thinks that they can just copy from Japan—but they don’t know what to copy!


No defects, no jobs. Absence of defects does not necessarily build business… Something more is required.


No one can measure the loss of business that may arise from a defective item that goes out to a customer.