22 June 2007

The Secret to the success of the Japanese car industry

Some secret Asian discipline and passion for perfection, like Buddhist monks? The passion and determination of the medieval Samurai? Some ineluctable characteristic of being Japanese?

Well, no. Actually it was this guy from Sioux City, Iowa. His name was Edward Deming and he taught the Japanese nearly everything they know about running a manufacturing plant. I remember watching a documentary about him years ago on TV. He is revered by the Japanese who have named their most prestigious award for innovation in manufacturing after him.

So why did this home grown genius have to go to Japan to get anyone to listen to him? Why don't American car companies read his "14 Points" and "7 Deadly Diseases"? And act on them?

uuuuuh.... I don't know. Perhaps they still think Deming's analysis and prescription are just too damn foreign and Japanese and all. Wouldn't work with real Americans. Click on the above link and take a look and see what you think. And remember, when I say I saw the documentary on TV years ago, I really do mean years ago. Someone alert Detroit.

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