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The U.S. Technology Skills Gap: What Every Technology Executive Must Know to Save America's Future, + Website by Gary J. Beach

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CHAPTER 3

1950: Deming Says

Failure of management to plan for the future and to foresee problems has brought about waste of manpower, of materials, and of machine-time, all of which raise the manufacturer's cost and price that the purchaser must pay. The consumer is not always willing to subsidize this waste. The inevitable result is loss of market. Loss of market begets unemployment. Loss of market and unemployment are not ordained. They are not inevitable. They are man-made.

—W. EDWARDS DEMING, OUT OF THE CRISIS1

As World War II ended in Europe, another story was developing in the war in the Pacific. This one involved a native-born American with strong science, technology, engineering, and math skills. So strong, in fact, were his mathematical skills that he single-handedly changed the balance of the global economy.

W. Edwards Deming was born on October 14, 1900, in Sioux City, Iowa, and moved to Wyoming as a young child. His family was frugal, so in his youth he learned a trait that would serve him well throughout his life: never waste anything. After graduating from the University of Wyoming with a degree in electrical engineering, he moved to Colorado and earned a graduate degree in mathematics and physics. He later earned his doctoral degree in mathematics from Yale University. Deming's first job was building telephones for Western Electric, where he learned a lesson that would define his career: the importance of product uniformity in the manufacturing process.

Deming Has ...

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