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At a recent networking event for small businesses, OSD staff had the opportunity to connect with the manager of an IT company on Statewide Contract. In the interecommbuys-2st of fairness, we are not identifying this company by name; however, we would like to share their insights as a small business that has experienced success using COMMBUYS. Here are highlights of our conversation.

How long have you been doing business with the state?

My company has been working with various state and municipal organizations for years, even before COMMBUYS. When we first began pursuing business opportunities with public entities, it was difficult and extremely time consuming to find open bids relevant to the IT industry. We had to monitor the websites of 351 Massachusetts cities and towns because there wasn’t a central registry for non-construction municipal bid notices. This was not practical for a small, growing business.

Did the launch of COMMBUYS have an impact on your business?

COMMBUYS changed the way we do business with the state. Instead of spending hours, sometimes days, reviewing hundreds of websites, we login to COMMBUYS about once a week and quickly review open market bid opportunities across the Commonwealth. It is easy to disqualify many of the bids based on the short description or filter by category in COMMBUYS. Then we focus on the remaining bid notices relevant to our industry and decide if we want to pursue them.

How many bids have you responded to in COMMBUYS?

We have submitted more than 100 quotes in COMMBUYS resulting in approximately $7M in purchase orders since COMMBUYS was launched in 2014. These quotes were in response to bids we received as a Statewide Contract vendor, as well as open market bids we found by reviewing the weekly bid reports in COMMBUYS. We take a very active role in pursuing business posted in COMMBUYS.

Do you have any feedback for buyers who post bid notices in COMMBUYS?

Use the description field in COMMBUYS to clearly explain the goods or services you would like to purchase and provide as much detail in the bid notice as possible. This will give you the best opportunity to attract vendors that can provide the goods and services you seek and will reduce the back-and-forth after quotes are submitted.

To learn more about creating a vendor profile in COMMBUYS, responding to open market bids, or becoming a Statewide Contract vendor, please visit mass.gov/sell-to-the-state. For COMMBUYS assistance, contact the COMMBUYS Help Desk at 1-888-627-8283.

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