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Pie chart with top contracts sliced.Back-to-school purchasing may look a little different this year, but school districts are learning to stretch budgets in new ways as the need for in-person, online, and hybrid learning supplies continues. Since announcing the DESE K-12 Health Safety Supply/PPE Program in July, OSD has experienced an increase in new school district personnel purchasing from Statewide Contracts, including school business officials, nurses, principals, and food services professionals. Initial school-year purchases are well underway, and now is the time for schools to re-assess which product/ service needs still have not been met. The pie chart below extracts Purchase Order data from COMMBUYS to show which contracts were most frequently used by schools in COMMBUYS between the July DESE contract launch and Labor Day.

Key Findings:

  • The most-used contracts reflect school districts’ need for PPE: HLS06, HSP41, and OFF47 (category 1 vendors) were used frequently to fulfill PPE and other essential healthcare item needs, such as masks, wipes, gloves, goggles, and hand sanitizer.
  • Facilities and building maintenance are also a trend among schools this year, with HVAC and general contracting services and supplies on TRD01 (services) and FAC100 (supplies).
  • As expected, one of the most common purchases was for cleaning products and services. Environmentally preferable cleaning products and equipment are available on FAC85 and janitorial equipment, supplies, and sanitation cleaning chemicals are on FAC101.

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The Local Government Enablement (LGE) team works with Massachusetts municipalities to spread the word about the best value and time savings benefits of using COMMBUYS and Statewide Contracts. Recently, the team has been conducting phone and email outreach to ensure school districts are aware of Statewide Contract purchasing opportunities. If you would like to learn more about how your municipal organization may benefit from purchasing from Statewide Contracts, please contact the team at COMMBUYSEnablement@mass.gov

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