Throughout the years, many great business and manufacturing thinkers have brought us quality quotes that, while short and to the point, impacted people’s thinking about quality management. Below, we’ve presented ten quality quotes that we think are worth your consideration.
It’s worth noting that many quotes circulating on the internet have no clear origins. They may be attributed to one individual or several — but it is often difficult to tie a quote back to a particular author.
As Abraham Lincoln once said:
Some of the quality quotes below have a clear tie back to a specific piece of writing, while others do not. Take their origins with a grain of salt, and at the same time, consider the wisdom each quote has to offer.
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”The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten.”
Often attributed to Benjamin Franklin, one of the United States’ founding fathers. Franklin wrote many pieces about the importance of diligence and frugality. Similar quotes are attributed to luxury brand founders Aldo Gucci and Charles Rolls. But the message is clear — be sure to meet or exceed your customer’s expectations.
“Quality means doing it right when no one is looking.”
Generally attributed to Henry Ford, founder of the Ford Motor Company. He introduced the Model T, the first affordable car for middle-class Americans. Decades later, when Japanese cars entered the market, and Ford Motor Company saw a decline in market share, they bounced back with a new attitude and slogan, “Quality is Job 1.”
“Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skillful execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives.”
Typically attributed to William A. Foster, a heroic U.S. Marine whose life ended after he jumped on a grenade to protect a comrade during the Battle of Okinawa. Before World War II, he worked at Star Machine and Tool Company in Cleveland, Ohio. The quote may have actually originated from a New York Times advertisement in the 1930s. However, the message rings true regardless of the messenger.
“Quality needs to be constantly improved, but it is just as necessary to make sure that quality never deteriorates.”
Attributed to Shigeru Mizuno, author of the book Company-Wide Total Quality Control, published in the late ‘80s. According to the Asian Productivity Organization (APO), he was one of the originators of Quality Function Deployment (QFD). This is “a structured technique to ensure that customer requirements are built into the design of products and processes.”
“You can not inspect quality into a product.” —Harold F. Dodge
Often attributed to quality guru W. Edwards Deming because he referenced it in one of his books, Out of the Crisis. In that book, he attributes it to Harold F. Dodge. And for more thoughts on this quote, see the following article.
Related Post: This is Why Quality Cannot be Inspected Into a Product
“You can’t fake quality any more than you can fake a good meal.” —William S. Burroughs
This quote originates from William S. Burroughs in his novel The Western Lands, which was inspired by the Egyptian Book of the Dead. It comes from a passage where a character explains that you should “not try to shortchange the Muse.” In other words, producing quality requires time, patience, and effort.
“No matter how great the talent or efforts, some things just take time. You can’t produce a baby in one month by getting nine women pregnant.” —Warren Buffett
Warren Buffet is widely considered one of the best investors in the world and an astute businessman. He has offered many pearls of wisdom over the years, including this one.
“Uncontrolled variation is the enemy of quality.” —W. Edwards Deming
Deming is one of the most well-known and quotable quality gurus of the 20th century. Here he reminds us that by consistently measuring the quality of our products, we can monitor our results and make improvements where needed before an issue grows beyond control. Product inspections and laboratory tests are tools many importers use to verify adherence to standards.
“You must have a supplier relationship of constant improvement.” —W. Edwards Deming
When you are working with suppliers, it is not enough to expect that they will produce consistent quality over time. It is also essential to focus on supplier development and develop a system for supplier quality management. This way, you can avoid moving backward and instead move forward.
“Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence.”—Vince Lombardi
Often regarded as one of the greatest American football coaches in history, Vince Lombardi led the Green Bay Packers to five NFL titles. This quote reminds us that we should set high standards, for example, by developing well-crafted product specifications. This way, we can set expectations with suppliers and then work to hold them to our standards.
Did you enjoy these quality quotes, and did they inspire you to improve your products? For more information about ensuring great quality products, we recommend the following guide.
Price vs. Quality: Your Free Guide
Importing goods from overseas makes sense for many importers due to the low costs of production. However, this doesn’t matter much if you receive low-quality goods that you can’t sell to your customers. It is essential to take all the necessary steps to balance price and quality. Our free Price vs. Quality Guide gives deeper insight into how to navigate these waters.