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W. Edwards Deming’s 14 Points: An Introduction

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By Emilie A Lachance - August 03, 2018

W. Edwards Deming is one of the most important figures in manufacturing. His work with statistical process control and the scientific method in manufacturing is credited as a major influence in Japan’s incredible industrial renaissance after the second world war. His work there and the evolution of manufacturing that he sparked is the reason most lean manufacturing practices have Japanese names. When he returned to America, Deming advised the use of applied statistics for manufacturing engineers, and forever changed business administration.

His ideas are still used today, many unchanged since the 40s. These ideas are best summarized by his 14 points for Total Quality Management (TQM):

  1. Create a company culture of continuous improvement.
  2. Ensure this philosophy is applied at all levels of management.
  3. Remove the dependence on inspection to ensure quality.
  4. Cease the practice of purchasing from many different low bidders. Buy from a single source to maximize efficiency and save in the long-run.
  5. Continuously improve every aspect of planning, production, and delivery.
  6. Train workers on the job to create a company culture modeled after their vision.
  7. Raise up teachers within the company to maintain the standard of training.
  8. Erase worker fear of speaking up about a problem, discomfort, or inefficiency.
  9. Remove the silo system regarding staff. Allow all parts of the system to be visible to every other.
  10. Eliminate slogans, exhortations, or quotas for workers, but rather make speed and efficiency institutional.
  11. Eliminate specific numerical goals for either workers or management. Improvement is never based around hard targets but steady reductions in capital loss over time.
  12. Abolish ranking or merit systems, or any other institution that disempowers workers and diminishes their pride in their work.
  13. Make education in the best practices for continuous improvement available to all, so the company culture remains deep over time and rising employee can carry on the organizational philosophy.
  14. Engage every employee of the company to participate to enjoy the fullest effect on productivity TQM and continuous improvement has to offer.

Perhaps the best summary for these points and for Deming’s philosophy in general, is an example form the man’s own life. As well as a gifted statistical mind, Deming was also an organist and composer. As a project he attempted to fix the national anthem, so it was wasn’t quite so difficult for the average American to sing. The mere exercise of this project says a lot about Deming’s views on management; if the song/job is consistently sung/performed badly don’t blame the singer/worker, rewrite the tune/instructions, no matter how enshrined or well-established they are.

Worximity is deeply committed to the philosophies of Continuous Improvement and Lean Manufacturing in food manufacturing. Using our IoT technology we provide company wide visibility into the statistics that matter to manufacturers and accelerate TTV (Time to Value) of investments in company culture and training to achieve outstanding productivity.

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