Thursday, January 27, 2022

Vendor Profile: BMS CAT

Under the AEPA contract, awarded by AEA Purchasing, BMS CAT offers restoration and reconstruction services to Iowa schools. By providing recovery services to mitigate fire, water, and storm damage, BMS CAT can help reestablish and restore your school community.

BMS Location Hubs & List of Services

Restore. Rebuild. Recover. - BMS CAT

School Project Profile: Houston (flooding)

Hurricane Michael Recovery, FLA Schools

Contract pricing for BMS CAT services has been competitively bid by AEPA and awarded locally by AEA Purchasing.

In times of emergent need for service, call the BMS CAT 24 hour emergency response line at 877.730.1948.

For more information or for non-emergency service quotes, contact:

Dana Schreibel
*Bid reference: Disaster Recovery Services 021.5-B

Monday, January 24, 2022

January Highlights from AEA Purchasing

Check out what's happening with AEA Purchasing and our fabulous vendor partners this month:

+Statewide Technology Buy
AEA Purchasing solicits a line-item bid every two years for technology products that are emerging and in high demand. January 2022 marked a new cycle of awarded products and partners that are eager to serve Iowa's schools. Learn more here.

+IASL Award Books for 2022-23
The time has come for the 2022-23 IASL Award Book sets to be released. Order forms are now available online. For additional details, contact Laurie OR your local AEA media contact.

+Mackin Webinar
AEA Purchasing co-hosted a webinar this month with Mackin. During our time together, we explored the many ways school media centers can analyze just how diverse their collections are with the use of Mackin's tag tool. For a copy of the recording, contact Joni. Be sure to join us in February for a discussion on summer reading preparations. To contact Mackin direct, email our rep, Mindy Romero.

+Benefits of Cooperative Purchasing
The benefits of cooperative purchasing extend beyond simple dollars and cents. Read what others are saying about the growing trend in group procurement.

+January Vendor Promotions
Want to know more about our vendor partners and what they have available? Check our January Vendor Promotions folder! Special offers, flyers, and brochures are added daily.

+Social Media
Follow us on social media to see what we are up to! You can find us on Twitter and Facebook!

On behalf of all of us at AEA Purchasing, 2022 is WELL underway. Thank you for your dedication to your students, your positive attitudes, and your perseverance in a year full of more unknowns. We are so fortunate to work with each of you!

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Update on our Statewide Technology Buy

AEA Purchasing solicits a line-item bid every two years for technology products that are emerging and in high demand. January 2022 marked a new cycle of awarded products and partners that are eager to serve Iowa's schools.

Awarded under our STB2022AEAPURCH contract are the following partners and products:

  • ACCO Brands: 40% off entire catalog, Discovery 1100 document camera, GBC laminators, and film

  • Camcor, Inc.: 3% off entire catalog

  • Innovative Office Solutions: Batteries, presentation remote, digital storage, Sanford markers, Universal 3-ring binders, Fellowes binding combs

  •, Inc.: 6% off entire technology catalog, various software (including Adobe, Microsoft, Nuance, Symantec, TechSmith, VM Ware, and more)

  • Lightspeed Technologies, Inc: 22% off entire catalog

  • Midwest Computer Products, Inc.: Elmo document cameras, BENQ interactive touchscreens, Boxlight ProColor interactive touchscreens, Epson projectors, 25% off Da-Lite screens

  • Scott Electric: 5% off lamps, Hop brand laminating film
For a big picture, at-a-glance view of all our technology buy has to offer, download our buyer's guide here.

Many of our awarded items can be searched through the AEA Purchasing Marketplace, added to a cart, and ordered electronically.  The Marketplace can help you with shopping, saving, and searching for products.

As a reminder, if you are ordering a large quantity of a particular product, ALWAYS contact the vendor, reference the AEA Purchasing contract number (STB2022AEAPURCH), and request lower pricing via a quote! 

Please email Laurie if you have any questions regarding the Technology contracts.

Monday, January 17, 2022

A Serving of Stone Soup

Do you remember the “Stone Soup” folk story?  In the traditional tale, a hungry stranger convinces the people of a town to each share a small amount of their food to make a meal that everyone can enjoy. Considering this, there are so many parallels one can draw as it relates to what is being asked of school food service staff every day with their cafeteria menus… 

We at AEA Purchasing see YOU and YOU are doing GREAT! 

If ever a common era school year called for “Stone Soup” this would be this year! Winter has settled in and the days are cool and breezy. Nothing can warm the tummy like a piping bowl of soup, but in a year plagued with shortages and discontinued favorites, our market basket options may seem to be slim picking these days. So do we start serving “Stone Soup”?

Our food program staff reached out to vendors/brokers that represent market basket items asking them to share some quick and easy FAVORITE soup recipes. Like the tale, many of them shared what they could add to the pot. 

Thank you to our brokers for providing the recipes below that use your favorite market basket items! We are sure you will find a couple of recipes that are sure to please the kitchen staff and most importantly your student and staff customers!

When we are looking for a new menu item to stir up interest in the lunch line, restaurant-like dishes are sure to be a success. Bush’s Best shared this tasty Italian-style Pasta Fagioli Soup recipe that is sure to be a winner -- a delicious confetti of veggies and beans presented in a steamy tomato broth.

Looking for something unique - look no further!!  Hormel is pairing delicious favorites with tasty extras to stir up a lot of buzz over this BBQ Pulled Pork Soup, everything we love at a BBQ picnic served up in one bowl!  Pizza Soup offers all of the ingredients they love on a pizza pie in a hearty bowl of soup! Pepperoni, Sausage, and Mozzarella Cheese?! This one sure sounds like it will be a winner!  Hormel shares another international flavor with this hearty Carnita Potato Soup recipe.  Blending Pork Carnitas and Salsa Verde with diced potatoes - let the fiesta begin.

There is nothing like a hot bowl of soup on a cold day! This easy 5-ingredient Creamy Tomato Soup recipe from Rich’s might just fill the lunch line with customers eager for a bowl of their favorite comfort food.

Are you looking for the next great soup that the students didn’t even know they loved?  These two “Ooey, Gooey Cheesy Soupy” recipes use frozen MB potatoes: Cheesy Hash Brown Potato Soup and Diced Ham Potato Soup. Each of these soups blends the flavors your customers love with the convenience of quick-cooking making them a true contender to be the next WINNER!

Last but not least is a modern twist on the classic favorite, chicken noodle. Using market basket Tyson Natural Diced Chicken this Chicken Ramen Noodle Soup will have them excited for soup day all over again and looking forward to the next time it is menued. 

Whether you are looking for a delicious new entree, a perfect new side item pairing, or a new piping hot salad bar offering, soup might just be the perfect choice, especially since January is National Soup Month! Are you planning to try a new soup offering? Please share photos and stories with us. We would love to spotlight you and your staff sharing the latest version of 2022 Stone Soup with your students, featuring photos and recipes on the AEA Purchasing Twitter feed and Facebook page!

Is your school not an AEA Purchasing Cooperative Food Member? We would love the opportunity to talk… email

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

FINAL DAYS -- Winter Paper Buy Closes THIS Friday!

Our Winter 2022 paper buy is coming to a close. ALL orders are due to The Paper Corporation by 5 PM on Friday, 1/14/22! To optimize your savings and guarantee that paper is available, order today!

(Current contract pricing increases as of Friday, January 14th at 5 PM.)

Complete buy information is now available online. Go to: "Paper Buy-AEA Purchasing".

***Order forms are available for download within the AEA Purchasing Marketplace.

Bid Features Include:
  • Wide variety of paperweights, colors, and sizes
  • Additional discounts for orders of 840 cartons of white or greater
  • Letter and catalog envelopes
For specific questions on how to order under this bid, please contact Laurie Hoing

Monday, January 10, 2022

Despite the Snow, It's Time to Think Lawn Care!

Let's face it. It's January in Iowa and your campus lawn is probably covered with snow. As such, now is the perfect time to take inventory of your lawn and groundskeeping equipment. If you find yourself in need of upgrades, consider the purchasing options available from AEA Purchasing and Bobcat!

Bobcat Company is focused on empowering customers to accomplish more. Bobcat Company’s partnership with AEA Purchasing offers their complete lineup of grounds maintenance and utility products deeply discounted and available for streamlined ordering.

Click here to watch a video of Bobcat's zero-turn-mowers in action.

Contact Jesse Rheault to learn how Bobcat can empower you to accomplish more!

Iowa schools can save on contract items with bid code 020-E.

Thursday, January 6, 2022

Webinar: Into the Green Bin

Busch Systems is excited to partner with EcoSafe on an upcoming program as part of their Green Thinking Webinar series.

With landfilled food waste increasingly seen as a significant source of methane emissions, and states like California and Massachusetts beginning to mandate diversion programs, organizations across US and Canada are moving compost collections to the top of their priority list.

This free webinar will feature a panel of veteran program managers from a range of different institutions
sharing the lessons they've learned through case study presentations and an extended panel discussion.

Webinar: Into the Green Bin
Collecting Food Waste from Institutional Settings
Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Webinar on Diversity Analysis Resources for your Media Center

Are you looking for diversity analysis resources and tools for your school's library or media center? Look no further than Mackin and AEA Purchasing!

Mackin is offering a free webinar on their tag and reporting tools that can help you select diverse and inclusive titles, review a summary of the titles on your selected book list and analyze your collection.

Webinar: Mackin Tag Reports
Click here for more info on the topic
Wednesday, January 12, 2022
1:00 PM CST
*After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Interested but can't make it to the webinar? Contact Mindy to discuss how Mackin can meet your needs and your budget using the AEA Purchasing contract!

Mindy Romero, Local Sales Rep
Cell: 319.899.9717
Toll-Free: 800.245.9540

Waste Watcher from Busch Systems

Looking to revamp your waste collection efforts? Turn to the folks at Busch Systems for the latest in North American-made recycling and waste containers. 

Of particular interest is the Waste Watcher line, offering versatile sizing that reduces servicing demands with 6 different capacities to choose from.

If collecting food waste is of interest to you, plan on attending Into the Food Bin: Collecting Food Waste from Institutional Settings, a FREE webinar featuring: 

  • Case studies of efforts being made by several different institutions
  • An extended Q&A discussion panel spotlighting lessons learned and challenges faced
  • Open discussion where you can bring forward your own questions and/or experiences
  • Post-webinar product showcase by Busch Systems

Under the AEA Purchasing contract (bid #019-B), Iowa schools receive 20% off MSRP on all recycling and waste container products.

For more information on all that Busch Systems has to offer, contact:

Busch Systems
Michelle Dunn
1.800.565.9931 x1220
Bid reference # 019-B

Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Our winter 2022 paper buy is still open, but don't delay! Orders are due by January 14. 

AEA Purchasing has partnered with The Paper Corporation out of Des Moines to bring Iowa schools and AEAs competitive pricing on cut paper and envelopes.

Complete information is available online. Go to: "Paper Buy-AEA Purchasing".

***Order forms are available for download within the AEA Purchasing Marketplace. Click here for step-by-step instructions on how to access the order form.

Order forms are available online only! There will be no printed order forms delivered to schools via AEA van mail.  

Bid features include:
  • Wide variety of paperweights, colors, and sizes
  • Additional discounts for orders of 840 cartons of white or greater
  • Letter and catalog envelopes
Orders are due Jan. 14, 2022. Early ordering is encouraged.

For specific questions on how to order under this bid, please contact Laurie Hoing

Happy saving!

Monday, January 3, 2022

January Vendor Promos!

Have you checked out the latest info and specials from our vendor partners?

What are you waiting for? 

Check out our January promotions today! New content is added daily.