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W. Edwards Deming created the 14 Deming Principles to describe a way to manage companies. Here’s an elaboration on principles three through five.

Deming Principle #3: Fix the Defects Now states that principle number three is, “Cease dependence on inspection to achieve quality. Eliminate the need for inspection on a mass basis by building quality into the product in the first place.”

In the US, when they make cars, they get don’t inspect for defects in the process of making the cars. They make the cars and then fix the flaws at the end. In Japan, if they find a defect, they shut the process down and, then, find a way to fix it, so it doesn’t happen again. Then they start the process again. This is vital to pay attention to when working on the effectiveness of a company. Defects and flaws should be worked on right away during the process not after.

Deming Principle #4: Don’t Chase Nickels and Dimes states that principle number for is, “End the practice of awarding business on the basis of price tag. Instead, minimize total cost. Move toward a single supplier for any one item, on a long-term relationship of loyalty and trust.”

So many companies are chasing nickels and dimes. Once a year they reprice their products and services to make sure they get the absolute best prices on everything. The only way you can get quality is through long term relationships with vendors and contractors. They learn to give the best services they can to you over time. You don’t accomplish that by having to retrain everyone on pricing constantly. It’s more expensive to chase nickels and dimes. Get the best you can from vendors and contractors not the least expensive. This will eventually help you to reduce total costs.

Deming Principle #5: Reduce Variation states that practice number five is, “Improve constantly and forever the system of production and service, to improve quality and productivity, and thus constantly decrease costs.”

The point is to reduce variation along the way so that accuracy is more and more attainable. One would do this through statistical analysis. Machines that are supposed to punch a hole in a sheet of metal in the exact center sometimes are off center. This confuses companies, as they program the machines to work with preciseness; however, there is always variation in life, and it is important to try to reduce the variation between the highs and lows as time goes on. Constant improvement in this area does not comes from the workers, but the management team. The management team can only do this, however, through connecting with their workers and understanding what they face on a daily basis.

Check back in two weeks for “Elaborating on the 14 Deming Principles: Part Three!”