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Needham MA Town Hall

Needham Town Hall
Needham, Massachusetts

The Town of Needham has made wide use of the state’s Trades contracts over the last two years. Buildings in Needham, including the Town Hall, school facilities, and the Needham Public Library, have been the beneficiary of various Statewide Contract Trades services – plumbing, HVAC, glass replacement, signage, and painting services, for example.

Cecilia Simchak, who handles building maintenance for the Needham Department of Public Works, talks about their experience using the Trades Statewide Contracts.

“We’ve found it so helpful to have these services on contract. They save us time not having to bid these jobs out and the contractors have been very responsive. Now when we need a Trades service, we check to see if it’s offered on the Trades contracts. It’s easier and, compliance wise, it’s safer for us to pull a vendor from the state contract.”

As designed, Needham uses the Trades Index to search for awarded Trades contractors in Norfolk county. The Index, which is updated each week to include newly onboarded vendors, makes it simple to search by Trades category and county in a few clicks, quickly displaying available contractors, pricing, and contact information.

To simplify their processes further, Needham routinely sends out requests for quotes through COMMBUYS and has encouraged local vendors to join the state contract.

Use of the Trades Contracts Taking Hold

Use of these contracts was made possible back in November 2016 when An Act to Modernize Municipal Finance and Government was signed into law. Among its many initiatives to simplify municipal processes, the legislation opened the opportunity to reintroduce the popular Trades Statewide Contracts by raising labor thresholds to $50,000. It paved the way for municipal organizations, Executive Departments, and other eligible entities to easily engage Trades services.

From the onset, OSD recognized it would take time to realize robust use of the Trades contracts as many organizations established their own agreements with vendors when the state’s initial Trades contracts were dissolved in 2014. Today, OSD’s four Statewide Contracts covering 27 trade service categories are gaining popularity.

“Organizations are seeing the benefits of having 27 state-sanctioned Trades services categories available for their use,” asserts Maureen Barends, Director of Strategic Sourcing Services at OSD. “It is indeed gratifying to see use of the contracts taking hold across our buyer communities.”

Learn more about the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ Trades contracts at mass.gov/trades.

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