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Deming Award

The Man

"Quality is not only obtainable, but essential" - Dr. W. Edwards Deming

Time and again, Ricoh is recognized for its achievements in the areas of air and water pollution, ozone layer depletion, global warming, and toxic waste. In particular, Ricoh has been acknowledged by the U.S. EPA for its pivotal contributions to the success of the Energy Star program.

Deming was born on October 14, 1900 in Sioux City Iowa. After studying engineering at the University of Wyoming, he earned a Masters Degree in mathematics and physics from the University of Colorado, and was awarded a doctorate in physics from Yale in 1928.

Deming developed his philosophy of using statistics to control manufacturing while working at AT&T's Hawthorne manufacturing plant in Chicago. After World War II, as the Census Bureau's chief mathematician, Deming developed sampling techniques that drastically narrowed the margin of error.

He first went to Japan in 1947 to help with the country's census. The Japan Union of Scientists and Engineers (JUSE) became keenly interested in Deming's statistical methods. At the time, the Japanese product reputation was terrible. Within four years of employing Deming's methods, The Japanese industry had made a complete turnaround, and was well on the road to producing the outstanding products available today.

In this country, several major organizations, including Ford, Pontiac and the U.S. Navy have thrived by implementing Deming's methods.

Deming lived and worked out of a modest Washington, D.C. home. So obsessed was Deming with eliminating waste, one of his daughters recalled he dated his eggs with a felt tip pen so that the oldest would be eaten first. He conducted his intensive four-day business seminars right up until less than two weeks before his death in December 1993, at the age of 93.

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