Procurement departments need to stop trying to get in the middle of marketers’ relationships with their agencies and instead trust them to make the right decisions, according to Paul Smith, senior director of global marketing and sales procurement at Mondelēz.

Speaking at the ProcureCon Marketing conference in London yesterday (13 June), Smith said procurement has a role to play in motivating both marketers and agencies to do the best work. But that it “cannot get involved in everything”, particularly at a company such as Mondelēz where innovation is so important.

“As the procurement guy you have to have full trust in your marketing stakeholders and we need to work on that. Procurement needs to trust marketing more,” he said.

“[Mondelēz] has a huge innovation agenda and often I find a lot of the guys in procurement want to be over buying agency talent for this or that innovation. They want to get involved and they want to buy everything and suddenly we are slowing down the innovation timetable. There is quite a challenge on us in procurement to actually empower quite a lot of things to marketers where we know we can’t add value or add value fast enough.”

Speaking on the same panel, Bayer’s VP of marketing procurement Malik Akhtar, said he sees…