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An Accidental Statistician: The Life and Memories of George E. P. Box by George E. P. Box

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The race is over! … ‘Everybody has won and all must have prizes.’

Chapter Thirteen

The Quality Movement

Bill Hunter and I were very interested in the quality movement from its earliest days, and Bill was closely involved in bringing its techniques to the city of Madison. In 1969, Bill had spent a year in Singapore on a Ford Foundation grant that supplied sophisticated computers and professional expertise to Singapore Polytechnic, where Bill worked with faculty and students. While there, he also worked with another professor to teach an evening seminar on quality techniques for full-time workers in vital positions in Singapore (e.g., those who oversaw the harbor, refuse collection, etc.). He would later teach a similar course in Madison. Bill also traveled to Japan and Taiwan where he visited factories using quality improvement programs.

In the 1970s and 1980s, people in the United States were starting to realize that the Japanese were building cars and other products that were far superior to theirs. This was a spectacular change because before the war, Japanese manufactures had been inferior. Immediately after the Second World War, Japanese industry had been in ruins, and the United States was anxious to help Japan get back on its feet. As part of this effort, two leading experts from the United States, Dr. W. Edwards Deming and Dr. Joseph M. Juran went to Japan to lecture on quality control. Although this subject had largely originated in the West, it had been only sparingly ...

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