Supply Chain Quotes by Top Leaders

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Supply Chain Quotes

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Large assortment of Supply Chain quotes by people such as Tom Peters, Henry Ford, Sam Walton, Michael Dell, Peter Drucker, Taiichi Ohno, Phil Crosby, W. Edwards Deming

“If supply chain had an arch enemy it would be called “Bad Communication.”

supply chain collaboration

“Leaders win through logistics. Vision, sure. Strategy, yes. But when you go to war, you need to have both toilet paper and bullets at the right place at the right time. In other words, you must win through superior logistics.”  ~ Tom Peters

Tom Peters Supply Chain Logistics quote

“If you think of standardization as the best that you know today, but which is to be improved tomorrow; you get somewhere.”  ~ Henry Ford, founder Ford Motor Company

“Eighty-five percent of the reasons for failure are deficiencies in the systems and process rather than the employee. The role of management is to change the process rather than badgering individuals to do better.” ~ W. Edwards Deming

“You will not find it difficult to prove that battles, campaigns, and even wars have been won or lost primarily because of logistics.”  ~ Dwight D. Eisenhower

Logistics quote

“Almost all quality improvement comes via simplification of design, manufacturing, layout, processes, and procedures.”  ~ Tom Peters

supply chain

“All we are doing is looking at the time line, from the moment the customer gives us an order to the point when we collect the cash. And we are reducing the time line by reducing the non-value adding wastes.”  ~ Taiichi Ohno, father of Toyota Production System (TPS)

“If you don’t have standardized processes how are you going to provide a consistent way to automate them?”


“Good is the enemy of great. That’s why so few things become great.”  ~ James C. Collins

“Without data, you’re just another person with an opinion.” ~ W. Edwards Deming


“Leadership is the art of giving people a platform for spreading ideas that work.”  ~ Seth Godin

“Our goal is to build the Internet of People (IoP) to find the person who has the answer you are looking for.”

“It is impossible to improve any process until it is standardized. If the process is shifting from here to there, then any improvement will just be one more variation that is occasionally used and mostly ignored. One must standardize, and thus stabilize the process, before continuous improvement can be made.”  ~ Masaaki Imai

“Any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants so long as it is black.”  ~ Henry Ford

supply chain

“Every breakthrough business idea begins with solving a common problem. The bigger the problem, the bigger the opportunity. I discovered a big one when I took apart an IBM PC. I made two interesting discoveries: The components were all manufactured by other companies, and the system that retailed for $3,000 cost about $600 in parts.”  ~ Michael Dell

“Two basic rules of life are: 1) Change is inevitable. 2) Everybody resists change.”  ~ W. Edwards Deming

“Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate.”  ~ John F. Kennedy

“Residential drone delivery is being tested by a variety of companies.  From delivering packages to delivering pizza, drone delivery is in the near future.”

“What gets measured gets improved.”  ~ Peter Drucker, considered the father of Modern Management

“Deep Learning will change the lives of all of us.  What is Deep Learning?  It’s behind what makes self-driving cars a reality.”  ~Dave Waters

“Put a good person in a bad system and the bad system wins, no contest.”  ~ W. Edwards Deming

“Why not make the work easier and more interesting so that people do not have to sweat?  The Toyota style is not to create results by working hard. It is a system that says there is no limit to people’s creativity.  People don’t go to Toyota to ‘work’ they go there to ‘think’”   ~Taiichi Ohno

“An hour saved at the non-bottleneck is a mirage.”   ~ Eliyahu M. Goldratt, The Goal

“The Internet of Things (IoT) will change the supply chain.  Research IoT before you get left behind.” 

“To fight, we must have oil for our machine.”   ~ Adolph Hitler

“In God we trust; all others bring data.”  ~ W. Edwards Deming

“At Wal-Mart, it goes back to Sam Walton and the foundation and business model that we simply operate for less, or everyday low cost. We’re known for operating in a very efficient way and then giving those savings to customers.”  ~ Mike Duke, former CEO Walmart

“Keep Calm and call the Supply Chain guy.”  ~

Keep Calm and call the supply chain guy

“A relentless barrage of “why’s” is the best way to prepare your mind to pierce the clouded veil of thinking caused by the status quo.  Use it often.”  ~ Shigeo Shingo

“You must never try to make all the money that’s in a deal. Let the other fellow make some money too, because if you have a reputation for always making all the money, you won’t have many deals.”   ~ J. Paul Getty

“Many of our best opportunities were created out of necessity. “ ~ Sam Walton, founder of Walmart

“If your supply chain runs without many problems you either have a great supply chain or running very fat.”  ~

“A relentless barrage of “why’s” is the best way to prepare your mind to pierce the clouded veil of thinking caused by the status quo.  Use it often.”  ~ Shigeo Shingo

“When you surround an army, leave an outlet free. Do not press a desperate foe too hard.”  ~ Sun Tzu

Supply Chain Management

“During the last war, eighty percent of our problems were of a logistical nature.”  ~ Field Marshall Montgomery

“Tell me and I will forget, show me and I may remember, involve me and I’ll understand.”  ~ Chinese Proverb

Supply Chain

“Gentlemen, the officer who doesn’t know his communications and supply as well as his tactics is totally useless.”  ~ General George S. Patton

“Supply chains are everywhere.  From the biggest company in the world to running your househould.  We all have supply chain experience even if we don’t know it.”  ~

“Where there is no Standard there can be no Kaizen.”  ~ Taiichi Ohno

“I say an hour lost at a bottleneck is an hour out of the entire system. I say an hour saved at a non-bottleneck is worthless. Bottlenecks govern both throughput and inventory.”   ~ Eliyahu M. Goldratt, The Goal

“Quality is free. It’s not a gift, but it’s free. The ‘unquality’ things are what cost money.”  ~ Phil Crosby

“All we are doing is looking at the time line, from the moment the customer gives us an order to the point when we collect the cash. And we are reducing the time line by reducing the non-value adding wastes.”  ~ Taiichi Ohno

“The line between disorder and order lies in logistics…”   ~ Sun Tzu

“Supply Chain is like nature, it is all around us.” ~ Dave Waters

“If you can’t describe what you are doing as a process, you don’t know what you’re doing.”  ~ W. Edwards Deming

Supply Chain Deming Process Quote

“When you are out observing on the gemba, do something to help them. If you do, people will come to expect that you can help them and will look forward to seeing you again on the gemba.”  ~ Taiichi Ohno

“Great leaders are almost always great simplifiers who can cut through the argument debate and doubt to offer a solution everybody can understand.”  ~ Colin Powell

supply chain

“If you don’t have an essential item that puts people into chaos.  What happens if the coffee runs out in the morning?  Simple but you get the picture.”  ~

“The key to the Toyota Way and what makes Toyota stand out is not any of the individual elements…But what is important is having all the elements together as a system. It must be practiced every day in a very consistent manner, not in spurts.” ~ Taiichi Ohno

“If anything is certain, it is that change is certain. The world we are planning for today will not exist in this form tomorrow.”  ~ Phil Crosby

“Your dream is out there waiting for you.  You just have to go out and get it.” ~Dave Waters

“The digital supply chain has the potential to completely change supply chain. However, do your due diligence before rushing in.”

“For much of Toyota’s history, we have ensured the quality and reliability of our vehicles by placing a device called an andon cord on every production line – and empowering any team member to halt production if there’s an assembly problem. Only when the problem is resolved does the line begin to move again.”  ~ Akio Toyoda, CEO Toyota Motor Company

“Supply Chain Experience: Plan a meal for 10 people.  Everyone must get the food they want and you can’t run out.  you have a $100 budget. Now plan and execute.”

Supply Chain

supply chain quotes

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