This page will show you how to tell if an organization is allowed to use Statewide Contracts, how to find lists and contact information for potential clients, how to gain visibility for your company by offering special deals that will be posted on OSD's website and exhibiting at OSD's annual vendor fair, and how to learn about what your competition on the Statewide Contract may be offering.
Once a Statewide Contractor has signed a Statewide Contract, the potential market for their commodities and services is extensive. All Executive Departments are required to use Statewide Contracts for their purchases if the goods/services they seek are available on a Statewide Contract. In addition, many other public and quasi-public entities in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts are eligible, though not required, to use Statewide Contracts. This page provides detailed information on prospective Contract users.
COMMBUYS is the Commonwealth's new electronic procurement system, replacing Comm-PASS. Whether you are a supplier or a buyer, COMMBUYS will ensure you get the best deals in a fair, transparent, open, and competitive process. Connecting business with government! See “Locating Documents on COMMBUYS” to find the documents listed below.
The Contract User Guide
This document tells Contract users how to use the contract. Many Statewide Contracts require a second level of competition among the Statewide Contractors – for example, Contract users may be required to request quotes via email from at least three Statewide Contractors, or, in some cases, to post “RFQs” on COMMBUYS. The Contract User Guide will explain such requirements. Statewide Contractors will also find it useful to review this document to understand Contract user expectations.
The Vendors Tab
Next, go to the Vendors tab. For many (but not all) Statewide Contracts, you will find attachments to each Vendor’s record that provide detailed pricing and services information, sometimes including extracts from the Vendor’s bid. Statewide Contractors may find it helpful to see what other Statewide Contractors are offering for similar goods/services on the Contract.
RFQs on COMMBUYS
RFQ (Request for Quote) is a term used by many Contract users to describe a solicitation that is open only to Statewide Contractors on one or more Statewide Contracts. The Contract User Guide will tell you when/if this is required by the Statewide Contract. However, for transparency purposes, some Contract users post RFQs on COMMBUYS, even when this is not otherwise required, particularly if the estimated value is significant. Statewide Contractors may sign up for COMMBUYS email notifications of bids whose commodity codes match the commodity codes selected by the vendor as part of the COMMBUYS registration process Since Commonwealth users are not yet accustomed to use of commodity codes, it is recommended that vendors select all commodity codes that are at all relevant to their products and services. If this results in too many email notifications, vendors may edit their information to drop commodity codes at any time.
OSD hosts an annual marketing and training trade show, usually in late April or early May, to educate public purchasers and contract end-users on the commodities and services available on statewide contracts, highlight innovative environmentally preferable (green) products, and provide marketing and networking opportunities to the business community.
The attendees at these events have included public purchasers and contract end users representing all Commonwealth agencies, cities and towns across the state, independent authorities, higher education and eligible not for profit human and social service organizations.
The OSD $ave$mart Program is a partnership between OSD and Statewide Contractors to create additional cost savings opportunities for all Commonwealth Contract Users. Statewide Contractors who wish to attract new clients may find that offering a $ave$mart can be beneficial.
To participate, Statewide Contractors must offer goods/services at below their standard Statewide Contract pricing, for a limited time period. OSD showcases these offerings on the SaveSmart Program webpage. To participate, vendors prepare an offer using one of the posted $ave$mart offerings as a model. They then include a brief summary of the offer, the beginning and end dates, contact information for their company, and the OSD SSL (Strategic Sourcing Lead) for the Statewide Contract.
If it takes more than one or two sentences to describe the offer, the $ave$mart should indicate that additional details may be found as an attachment to [Company Name]’s record on the Vendors tab on COMMBUYS for Statewide Contract [Contract Number].
Submit the draft $ave$mart offer, and an attachment to be posted on COMMBUYS, if applicable, via email to your OSD SSL. If the offer is accepted, your OSD SSL will arrange to have it posted on the $ave$mart page and on COMMBUYS, if there is a more detailed attachment.
Locating Documents on COMMBUYS
There are two major ways that contracts are structured in COMMBUYS, with some variations. In the “Distributor Model,” one record (with the Vendor Name “Conversion Vendor”) holds all of the vendor records and attachments. In this model, the contract vendors are called “Distributors.” In the “One Contract Per Vendor” model, there is a separate record for each vendor.
In the “Distributor Model,” all of the attachments are stored together in one record, since in this model, the individual vendors (“Distributors”) cannot have attachments. All attachments applicable to the entire contract (for example, the Contract User Guide and the RFR that created the Contract), as well as vendor-specific attachments (for example, price sheets for a particular vendor) will appear together.
In the “One Contract per Vendor” model, the attachments applicable to all contracts may be stored in a separate record (with the Vendor Name “Conversion Vendor”), or they may be attached to each of the individual contracts. For contracts created in COMMBUYS, vendor-specific attachments will generally be attached to each vendor record. For contracts converted from Comm-PASS, contracts may have the vendor-specific documents attached to the “Conversion Vendor” record, OR attached to the individual contracts.
Some contracts are set up with both models. The Distributor Model facilitates requesting quotes from multiple vendors, whereas the “One Contract per Vendor” model is easier to use when the contract allows ordering directly without requiring quotes.
The “Description” field may indicate where the attachments are located, particularly if there are multiple “Conversion” vendor records.
When a user is logged in, the attachments will appear on a separate tab, with the Vendor Name shown for the vendor-specific attachments. If a user is not logged in, the attachments will appear in the “Agency Attachments” section of the Header Record. They will be listed one after the other, in alphabetical order by file name, and may not identify the vendor for vendor-specific attachments, depending on the file name. When an attachment is selected, the Vendor Name will be shown in the description, but locating an attachment for a particular vendor could be time-consuming. If there are many attachments, logging in is recommended.
To locate your Contract on COMMBUYS:
Without logging in:
1. Select COMMBUYS under OSD Programs at www.mass.gov/osd OR Enter https://www.commbuys.com/bso/ in your browser
2. Select “Contract & Bid Search”
3. Select “Contracts/Blankets”
4. Enter the name of your contract (for example, “ITS53” or “ITS43SolProv” [no quotes]) as the “Contract/Blanket Description” (NOT the “Contract/Blanket #”)
5. Select the “Find it” button
6. If multiple links appear, look at the “Vendor Name” field. A record with the “Vendor Name” of “Conversion Vendor” that ends in “Vcurrent” will sometimes be the contract record as it came over from Comm-PASS in March, 2014, showing all Comm-PASS information at that time, including vendors and attachments. In some cases, this document is updated with later information. In others, there may be additional records with the name “Conversion vendor,” often used for updated attachments and vendor information. The “Description Field” may help to determine which record has the current contract information.
If you are logged in:
1. Select the magnifying glass
2. Select “Module” = “Purchasing Module” and “Document Type” = “Contracts/Blankets”
3. Follow steps 4 through 6 above
4. This view of the contract allows you to look at the contract information in separate tabs. The “Attachments” tab includes a description of each attachment and how it is to be used.