Great article by John Dowd [the broken link was removed], How the Japanese learned to compete:
This is a key lesson because with attention to quality, the company begins a journey on a “virtuous circle” of simultaneously improving quality and lowering costs. As quality improves, there are less rework, scrap and waste of all kinds. As products become more attuned to customers’ needs, there is less effort spent producing items people don’t want. Costs go down. Quality improves. Thus paying attention to quality becomes the primary competitive strategy. Understanding this is vitally important.
Related: Management Improvement History – Deming on Management – Deming related blog posts – PDSA – Speech by Dr. Deming to Japanese Business Leaders in 1950 – My First Trip To Japan by Peter R. Scholtes