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View from a pier in NantucketFrom streamlined purchasing to competitive pricing, COMMBUYS offers numerous benefits to price-conscious municipalities. In February 2015, the COMMBUYS Enablement Team and OSD Trainers traveled to the Town of Nantucket to provide buyer training. In April, the Town went live in using COMMBUYS for all Statewide Contract purchases orders. With 237 orders placed from 18 different Statewide Contracts,* the Town of Nantucket truly is a great example of the breadth of implementation and the depth of buying through COMMBUYS. “The key with us is not only the amount of purchasing we do, but it’s the variety. Whether it’s a truck, a window, a lawnmower – we buy it off of Statewide Contract,” says Town Engineer, Silvio Genao.

As a one-person department, Chief Procurement Officer, Heidi Bauer did not have the capacity to send all of the Town’s needs to bid. With direct access to the Commonwealth’s competitively priced and previously negotiated Statewide Contracts, COMMBUYS generated an invaluable time savings for the Town. “We are buying the same things as other municipalities, so anything we can do to shorten the procurement process is helpful. OSD is my procurement office. You all go out and vet everybody first,” Bauer states.

As an island, Nantucket also had its own unique set of needs and challenges. With very few local businesses and complicated logistics, the Town was enthusiastic for new channels to goods and services. They found that the wide range of vendors on Statewide Contracts exponentially increases their chances of finding the right items at the best price. “The Town of Nantucket really is a model community for how we would like municipalities to use COMMBUYS to their unique advantages,” remarks Trish Burke, Enablement Team Account Manager.

“COMMBUYS is really a lifesaver for us.” – Silvio Genao, Town Engineer

Senior Strategic Sourcing Manager Maureen Barends trains a class in Nantucket.One of the most significant ways that the Town administration has committed to COMMBUYS is by mandate. Since implementation, Bauer has required buyers to become COMMBUYS-trained so they may leverage the benefits of Statewide Contracts. “Our Department of Public Works (DPW) team now is a bunch of procurement professionals,” remarks Bauer. Another way that the Town has been instrumental in its success is by proactively establishing and managing their vendor relationships. For instance, when DPW had a vendor delivery issue, Genao visited the vendor and walked through the COMMBUYS process from both perspectives to find and solve the gaps in ordering. Because of this level of engagement, Nantucket has completed eight orders that were the first COMMBUYS orders with those vendors. By communicating their needs clearly and understanding OSD’s processes, the Town has created a natural partnership with the Commonwealth. Bauer and Genao have participated on Strategic Sourcing Teams, and Genao states, “We have great relationships with the folks at OSD. I really can’t say enough good things about our experience with you all.”

If you’re a municipal procurement professional wanting to learn more about how COMMBUYS can work for you, visit the Local Governments webpage. Contact the COMMBUYS Enablement Team to set up a time to meet by emailing COMMBUYSEnablement@state.ma.us.

* Data from 1/1/15 – 2/9/16

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