Four lessons that Procurement can learn from Taylor Swift

I am not ashamed to admit that I am a swiftie. I love Taylor Swift’s music, particularly the later albums. If you are cringing reading this and associate Taylor only with ‘Shake it off’ or ‘Love story’ then I implore you to seek out other albums such as Folklore or the latest Midnights. The thing I admire the most about Taylor Swift though is her incredible business acumen. She has created her own universe for her fans in a way that I would argue very few if any other artists ever have. She constantly adapts and looks forward, anticipating what her fans, her major stakeholders, want from her. In fact, to quote Taylor she is ‘so ahead of the curve that the curve became a sphere’

If you are not a fan, before dismissing what I am about to say, please go and read articles on her unique and amazing marketing strategies. As I’m a procurement gal, I can’t help but build comparisons between what Taylor does, and what we as a Procurement function need to be able to do. In essence, I am going to hit you with four ways we need to be more like Taylor Swift.

  1. Embracing the Power of Storytelling

At the heart of Taylor Swift’s success lies her ability to craft compelling narratives that resonate with her audience. In the same way, procurement professionals can benefit from integrating storytelling into their processes. The procurement journey, from sourcing to supply chain management, involves intricate stories of origin, production, and delivery. By weaving these narratives together, procurement teams can transform mundane transactions into meaningful interactions. I guess you could say that storytelling is coming back stronger than a 90s trend!

Imagine a procurement team sourcing sustainable materials for a product. By sharing the story of the material’s origins, the artisans who crafted it, and the positive impact it has on local communities, the entire supply chain becomes more human, relatable, and engaging for our stakeholders. Storytelling not only fosters deeper connections but also communicates the brand’s values and purpose to stakeholders, enhancing transparency and trust.

    2. Understanding Your Audience

Taylor Swift’s meteoric rise can largely be attributed to her keen understanding of her audience. She truly listens to what we want, and her well-known Easter Eggs keep fans guessing and interacting with her. Similarly, in the procurement realm, understanding the diverse needs and expectations of internal and external stakeholders is paramount. Procurement professionals should invest time in learning about the motivations, concerns, and preferences of their suppliers, clients, and colleagues. After all, we don’t want any ‘Bad Blood!’

Adapting Taylor Swift’s approach involves utilising data analytics to gain insights into stakeholder behaviours and preferences. These insights can then guide procurement decisions, ensuring that offerings align with what the audience truly desires. Whether it’s selecting suppliers who share common values or tailoring procurement strategies to fit specific customer segments, audience understanding enhances efficiency and satisfaction.

  1. Harnessing the Power of Partnerships

Taylor Swift’s ability to collaborate with a wide range of artists and brands has not only diversified her music but also extended her reach into new markets. Similarly, in the world of procurement, forging strategic partnerships can open doors to innovation and growth. Building collaborative relationships with suppliers, manufacturers, and distributors can lead to joint ventures, co-creation, and shared successes.

Procurement professionals should approach partnerships with a win-win mindset. Just as Taylor Swift benefits from featuring artists who bring new dimensions to her music, procurement can tap into the expertise and capabilities of partners to enhance their offerings. This approach fosters creativity, accelerates product development, and drives mutual growth.

  1. Committed to the Greater Good

Taylor Swift’s philanthropic endeavours are well-known, including her crusade for artist’s rights – even against big players like Apple and Spotify and they reflect a commitment to making a positive impact beyond her music. Similarly, procurement professionals should adopt a holistic perspective that considers social, environmental, and ethical implications. Operating with a focus on the greater good ensures that procurement practices align with broader societal goals.

Procurement teams can prioritise sustainability by sourcing ethically produced materials, reducing waste, and supporting local economies. Embracing Taylor Swift’s commitment to causes larger than herself, procurement professionals can drive change by making conscious choices that ripple throughout supply chains and communities.

So there you have it, I hope I have convinced you with my arguments that there are clear parallels between Taylor Swift and what a procurement function can and should do.

If you are a fellow Swiftie get in touch and let me know! I hope to see you at the Eras tour next year

From the loudest women this town has ever seen

Level 3 Diamond Timetable

Exam Series Module No. of sessions Dates
March 2024
M2 & M3
6
15th Jan, 29th Jan, 5th Feb, 19th Feb, 26th Feb, 4th Mar
May 2024
M4
3
15th Apr, 22nd Apr, 29th Apr
July 2024
M5
3
3rd June, 10th June, 24th June
Nov 2024
M1
3
7th Oct, 21st Oct, 4th November
Mar 2025
M2&M3
6
13th Jan, 20th Jan, 27th Jan, 10th Feb, 24th Feb, 3rd March
May 2025
M4
3
7th Apr, 14th Apr, 28th Apr
July 2025
M5
3
2nd June, 16th June, 30th June

Level 6 Diamond Timetable

Exam Series Module No. of sessions Dates
March 2024
M2 & M5
5
25th Jan, 1st Feb, 8th Feb, 22nd Feb, 29th Feb
May 2024
M4 & M7
4
18th April, 25th April, 2nd May, 9th May
July 2024
M3 & M8
5
30th May, 20th June, 27th June, 4th July, 11th July
November 2024
M1
3
10th Oct, 24th Oct, 7th Nov
Mar 2025
M2 & M5
5
30th Jan, 6th Feb, 13th Feb, 27th Feb, 6th Mar
May 2025
M4 & M7
4
3rd April, 10th April, 1st May, 8th May
July 2025
M3 & M8
5
5th June, 12th June, 19th June, 26th June, 3rd July

Level 5 Diamond Timetable

Exam Series Module No. of sessions Dates
March 2024
M5, M15 & M9
4
31st Jan, 7th Feb, 21st Feb, 28th Feb, 6th March
May 2024
M3 & M8
4
10th April, 17th April, 24th April, 1st May
July 2024
M4
3
5th June, 11th June, 26th June
November 2024
M1 & M2
5
9th Oct, 16th Oct, 23rd Oct, 30th Oct, 6th Nov
Mar 2025
M15, M5, M9
5
29th Jan, 5th Feb, 12th Feb, 26th Feb, 5th March
May 2025
M3 & M8
4
9th April, 16th April, 30th April, 7th June
July 2025
M4
3
4th June, 18th June, 2nd July

Level 4 Diamond Timetable

Exam Series Module No. of sessions Dates
March 2024
M3, M5, M7
6
23rd Jan, 30th Jan, 6th Feb, 20th Feb, 27th Feb, 5th March
May 2024
M4 & M6
4
9th April, 16th April, 23rd April, 30th April
July 2024
M8
3
4th June, 18th June, 3rd July
November 2024
M1 & M2
5
8th Oct, 15th Oct, 22nd Oct, 29th Oct, 5th Nov
March 2025
M3, M5, M7
5
29th Jan, 5th Feb, 12th Feb, 26th Feb, 5th March
May 2025
M4 & M6
4
8th April, 15th April, 29th April, 6th June
July 2025
M8
3
10th June, 24th June, 8th July