Massachusetts – Operational Services Division – what and why?
@CI_Works hosted a visit from OSD personnel on July 28. The Operational Services Division (OSD) is an oversight agency of the Commonwealth within the Executive Office for Administration and Finance. OSD is comprised of several units which administer a broad range of activities (from web site). That makes OSD one of the many departments in Mass state agency-land. It is a complex and treacherous terrain for small businesses to invest the time needed to navigate and figure out. You know that large companies are aware of this procurement landscape and know how to leverage it fully.
A number of businesses @CI-Works had desired to actually do business by supplying products / services with entities in Mass – both state agencies and municipalities. These are businesses that in some cases have received funding from another state agency, received appropriate permitting to operate in Mass., been followed closely as to progress made by that agency, and in a couple of cases been deemed as commercially ready technologies. After having inquiries and proposals not responded to by state / municipal depts...., they then learned that there is an application process administered by the OSD to gain access to the CommBuys database of procurements from across the state and be considered. These procurements represent tens of billions in spending that companies may want to be aware of and have at least a chance at supplying services – as all of these companies are located in Mass.
The OSD personnel did a fantastic job of explaining how the procurements process works, how to apply to be listed through CommBuys, and how to sort through various types of procurements and find those applicable to their businesses. For those companies in attendance, it was a very valuable lesson in how to access potential spending in their industry. Again, these are Massachusetts companies that would benefit greatly if their own home state would do business with them. It just seems that it should be easier than this for small businesses to be successful.
Thanks to state Representative Jim Kelcourse for helping to arrange to bring these resources to Amesbury and potentially benefit companies located within his district.