It was not long ago that lean supply management techniques resided primarily in the manufacturing realm. In 2009, two vice presidents at Capital One Financial Corporation (COF), in Richmond, Virginia, began to implement lean processes in COF's global procurement services (GPS) function. With these efforts, their team has greatly reduced cycle time, maintained flat staffing levels while demand increased by 75 percent and boosted internal customer and associate satisfaction - proving that traditional services procurement can effectively transform itself by taking cues from widely used manufacturing principles.
Although lean was designed with actual nuts and bolts in mind, COF has created ways to apply lean processes to the metaphorical nuts and bolts that comprise its financial services procurement needs.
Mark Lareau and Edward Maino are both vice presidents of GPS for COF, and split their duties between two major business lines for the company: Lareau handles national lending responsibilities, while Maino leads banking. Together, the two have designed a departmental transformation that ensures GPS can meet growing demand for goods and services as the company expands, while at the same time keeping costs and personnel headcount under control.
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