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MBTA logoAfter much analysis and planning, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) is working closely with the Operational Services Division to transition their state funded procurement and purchasing activity to Statewide Contracts and the Commonwealth’s online procurement center, COMMBUYS.

For the MBTA, a quasi-public authority not obligated to follow OSD procurement policy and regulations (MGL c. 7, s. 22 and 801 CMR 21.00), their commitment is noteworthy, driven by their ability to garner significant cost savings and beneficial workflow efficiencies afforded by their use of Statewide Contracts and COMMBUYS. For the Commonwealth’s public purchasers, the action by the MBTA opens the door to even stronger negotiation with state contractors and expansion of Statewide Contract product selection as OSD works to incorporate the MBTA, a new customer, into the COMMBUYS Market Center.

All in all, it’s a real win for Massachusetts!

A Wealth of Opportunity
In FY17, the MBTA plans to spend more than $261 million on materials and services – items such as diesel fuel, electricity, vehicle parts, office equipment, and network services. Through their analysis and work with OSD, the MBTA already identified opportunities to shave a projected 20 – 30% off their last 12 months’ expenditures for both Maintenance, Repair, and Operations (FAC94) and police uniforms (CLT07).

“There’s significant opportunity for us to cut our spending using Statewide Contracts,” comments Brian Shortsleeve, MBTA Acting General Manager and Chief Administrative Officer. “So far, we’ve conservatively been able to identify $1.27 million in projected savings for this fiscal year alone.”

Point of fact, MBTA’s move toward Statewide Contracts already has yielded advantageous results. To address the MBTA’s Commuter Rail diesel fuel requirements, OSD reopened negotiations with the ENE40 diesel fuel vendor servicing the greater Boston area (Zone 1) and was able to secure a lower rate. The negotiated pricing is projected to save the MBTA $900,000 over FY17 and FY18.

The COMMBUYS Market Center is an important component of the MBTA’s onboarding. Staff will be trained to use the Commonwealth’s online procurement center for their purchasing and bid solicitations and they also will take advantage of COMMBUYS’ features to electronically manage business workflows, maintain procurement documents, and provide ordering and spending data through dynamic reports. MBTA training on the use of COMMBUYS and Statewide Contracts currently is underway.

“The MBTA buys across a wide spectrum and in quantities that will have a positive ripple effect for the Commonwealth,” explains Gary Lambert, Assistant Secretary for Operational Services. “As we continue to work to meet the needs of our MBTA customer, we expect to attract a broader vendor audience, increasing competition for our business, which will drive a better value and price for all of our state, local, and quasi-government customers.”

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