AECOM developing SME partnerships as new appointment made

Clara Matty, pictured, has taken up the role of SME relationship manager at AECOM.

AECOM has announced it is developing SME partnerships as a dedicated relationship manager has taken up post.

The infrastructure consulting firm says the new SME initiative is underpinned by a strategy focused on firms employing less than 250 staff, which makes up around 80% of AECOM’s suppliers. 

AECOM set up a working group to devise the SME strategy, with the vision of identifying key SMEs to build strong, long-lasting relationships that provide mutually beneficial, sustainable and profitable growth for all parties. 

This will help drive innovation, deliver projects and support its social value work. 

Joint activities could include sharing a pipeline of work, bidding, project delivery, marketing, training and mentoring. Investment in SMEs will be considered in some cases.

Clara Matty has taken up the role of SME relationship manager and will help implement, develop and evolve the AECOM SME strategy.

Internal and external activities have been taking place to support this work, including the launch of an SME hub - an environment to share ideas, create new ways of working and encourage collaboration, allowing access to key documents, resources and contacts.

“As well as supporting project delivery, SMEs have a crucial role in helping us meet the environmental, social and governance goals (ESG) set out in our Sustainable Legacies strategy,” said Matty. 

“By building relationships with SMEs we can create a diverse and inclusive supply chain and address key ESG topics and challenges that both AECOM and SMEs face, such as our journey to net zero, training and upskilling, and boosting local employment.”

Matty joins AECOM after working as partnerships officer at the CORE Education Trust and prior to that, corporate partnerships officer at the Birmingham Royal Ballet. 

Scott Motley, AECOM director and initiative sponsor, said: “Working with SMEs is such a great opportunity to leverage the often-niche expertise they bring to projects, whilst enabling them to benefit from the support and perspective of working with a global, multi-disciplinary firm. By putting a strategy behind these relationships, we’re ensuring that purpose, goals and potential benefits for both the firms and clients are aligned and achievable.”

In the financial year of 2021 AECOM worked with more than 500 SMEs on over 1,000 projects in the UK and Ireland. 

One of these SMEs is Danebury, which specialises in implementing soft facilities management (FM) services for clients. 

Danebury owner Mike Johnson said that through its partnership with AECOM, he had been able to access new clients through AECOM’s framework agreements which as a stand-alone firm, Danebury is too small to access. 

Likewise, he has been able to bring AECOM onto projects Danebury is leading and the two firms offer separate, but complementary services.

He added: “AECOM supported us through the process of becoming one of its approved suppliers, helping us to put into place policies and processes in areas such as ESG so that we met the criteria. We’re proud to be an AECOM supplier and I’ve found we share the same commitment to working collaboratively with clients to overcome challenges and implement solutions.”

If you would like to contact Karen McLauchlan about this, or any other story, please email