Tuesday, January 31, 2023

School Specialty: Projects by Design Services and New Furniture

Projects by Design, School Specialty's no-cost design services, can assist you with creating an engaging learning environment! 

School Specialty has recently expanded its Projects by Design team across the country with dedicated designers. Their unparalleled experience is demonstrated through more than 6,000 turnkey building and renovation projects. Thoughtful and purposeful designs come together with one-stop shopping to unlock the promise of a great education with their curated selection of furnishings and learning materials for a complete educational environment. Let their experienced team take the worry out of your next project by providing expert guidance and access to everything you need to create the learning environment of your dreams.

Visit Select.SchoolSpecialty.com and sign in to see your discounted pricing.

Projects by Design brochure

Projects by Design video

Projects by Design (School Specialty)
Courtney Kokjohn, Strategic Account Rep
Bid Reference: AEPA IFB 022-A
(515) 339-7227

Monday, January 30, 2023

Vendor Feature: Romtec

Romtec designs, manufactures, supplies, and constructs site-built park and recreation buildings and structures for many types of applications. Their offering includes a stamped and sealed plan set for the building as well as a complete building package of materials. Romtec works directly with your local building department to get the approval of the plans and then supplies all the materials to your site for construction by Romtec or by a local contractor. 

Romtec, Inc. specializes in the design and supply of the following building types:
All of the structures listed above are covered under contract (#AEPA IFB 019.5 B).

Contact Romtec today to get your project started!

Thursday, January 26, 2023

Exploring Meatless Menus

This time of year, school foodservice operations are often looking for meatless menu options. Some kitchens may be looking for additional meatless menu offerings for Fridays while others might be looking to excite current customers or entice new customers by offering #MeatlessMondays!

The AEA Purchasing market basket has several great options to offer the foundation to explore new menu creations and/or quick fix center of the plate presentations!

Click here to see what we've got!

Meatless menus can be so much more than cheese pizza or macaroni and cheese! Additionally, AEA Purchasing would love to help you create a new meatless entree favorite, such as Shrimp Po’Boys, Breakfast or Lunch Loaded Nacho Plates or a popular pick like Asian Wraps or Breakfast Burritos.

Having trouble navigating the market basket or finding new pairings to build a creditable breakfast, lunch, or snack? Our food consultants are always here to assist. Reach out at any time. We would LOVE to help! 

Not an AEA Purchasing Cooperative Food Member? We would love the opportunity to talk... email megan@aeapurchasing.org.

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Pitsco's Drone Maker Kit

Design, build, and fly your own drone using Pitsco Education's NEW Drone Maker Kit!

This kit guides learners in Grades 3-8 through the basics of engineering design and flight while encouraging creativity and career knowledge as they assemble their own drones. No device required, no-fear STEAM, 100% hands-on, and 110% FUN.

Iowa schools can save on all of their Pitsco purchases by taking advantage of the AEA Purchasing contract! Simply use code AEPA22 or AEPACTE at checkout for an exclusive 2% discount along with free shipping on $50+ orders! But hurry, the free shipping offer expires on 3/31/23.

For more information on Pitsco products, contact:

PITSCO Education
Contract IFB 019-E - AEPA22
Contract IFB 022.5-B - AEPACTE
Preston Frazier, Iowa Sales
800-835-0686 Ext. 4559

Monday, January 23, 2023

Vendor Profile: Hillyard

Hillyard’s vision is to be the trusted partner for our customers and facilities to provide clean, safe, and healthy facilities and environments.

Founded in 1907 by N.S. Hillyard, we are still today a family-owned business led by our 5th generation family members. Our company was founded with innovation and technology, with a process and custodial
training focus. We also have a passion for innovation and continually improving our processes and

Our local Iowa location is based in Urbandale with over 8 account managers to service Iowa and
Nebraska. We work with our customers to 'evaluate, standardize, train and manage'. We help you
evaluate your current process and products, standardize the steps, and then train staff for any changes.
Management takes place after the fact, to maintain the facility as clean, safe, and healthy.

Using the AEA Purchasing contract, Iowa schools can save money on cleaning supplies and equipment from Hillyard. Visit Hillyard online to review our history and products. If you are looking for pricing and account details, please contact Jayme Mau, District Sales Manager. Be sure to reference contract # AEA Purchasing IFB 019-B.

Contract: AEA Purchasing IFB 019-B

Jayme Mau
4267 109th St.
Urbandale IA 50322

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

IASL Book Award Sets for 2023-24

Perfection Learning is our awarded vendor providing IASL book award sets (Goldfinch, Children's Choice, Teen, High School) for the 2023-2024 school year. 

Orders received by March 31, 2023 are guaranteed a free poster!

More information may be found here on the AEA Purchasing website.

Please contact your AEA Media Director or Laurie Hoing with any questions.

January Highlights from AEA Purchasing

Welcome to a new year! Here's an update on items of interest from AEA Purchasing.  

+IASL Book Awards
The 2023-24 IASL Book Award sets are now available to order from Perfection Learning! Order forms are now available online. To be guaranteed to receive posters with your purchase, please place your order by March 31, 2023. ALL orders are due by August 31, 2023. If your AEA is subsidizing sets, please submit orders as soon as possible to assure timely delivery and invoicing prior to fiscal year-end. Contact your AEA Media Director if you have questions regarding the number of sets and the deadlines for delivery for subsidized orders.

+Administrative Review for Child Nutrition Programs: Procurement Help
Do you need assistance tracking down procurement or product information for your Administrative Review? The AEA Purchasing Food Team is happy to help!  You're welcome to contact us for assistance:

Barb Adams, Meg Brink, Clif Cameron, and Molly Gilmore.

+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

If you have any questions about how AEA Purchasing can be of service to you, please reach out to us! We'd love to help.

Monday, January 16, 2023

Contract Profile: TinyEYE Therapy Services

When you hear the words "online therapy", "teletherapy", or "virtual therapy", what comes to mind? If you feel you have been burned by the online experience, it’s not teletherapy that’s letting you down, it’s poor experiences with ineffective service providers. In this free whitepaper, you’ll learn about TinyEYE’s one-of-a-kind approach to virtual therapy, our answers to the top 5 teletherapy objections, and how they always ensure students receive the best services possible. This guide is a great resource to share with administrators, parents, and other school community members who may be interested in online therapy.

TinyEYE and AEA Purchasing have partnered together to offer Iowa schools a discount on the provider's therapy services. Demos of the services available can be found online.

To learn more about how TinyEYE and AEA Purchasing can meet your therapy needs, contact:

TinyEYE Therapy Services
Contract # AEPA 022-B
Sabrina Syne

Thursday, January 12, 2023

Winter 2022-23 Paper Buy Extended!

Haven’t placed your paper order yet? Don’t sweat it! There’s still time. AEA Purchasing and The Paper Corporation are extending the ordering window through Friday, January 20, 2023.

Back in stock for this buy is the E-Copy domestic line. This brand will be shipped out for line item 1a 8.5x11 20# white 92+ copy paper.

Complete ordering information is available online within the AEA Purchasing Marketplace. Once logged in, scroll down to the “Featured Suppliers” section (middle of page) and click on “Paper Buy”.

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

*As a reminder, when you order using the AEA Purchasing contract, you are not only supporting local educational services, but also our economy. Our awarded vendor, The Paper Corporation, is an Iowa-based company proudly located in Des Moines!

Serving Up Red & Pink Valentine Treats

The fun colorful blend of red, white, and pink can evoke an atmosphere that is sure to bring out joy and excitement in your cafeteria! With February and Valentine’s Day quickly approaching have you filled your menus with special treats and quirky puns to bring customers to the breakfast & lunch line? Are you feeling yourself scrambling to pick the perfect pairings? No worries! Our food program's market basket has some FUN finds that are sure to leave your students and staff asking “Hey food, will you be my valentine?”

Ridiculously Red and Perfectly Pink Market Basket Discoveries

  • Diamond Crystal -- dry gelatin red assortment (also available in single flavors of strawberry, cherry, and raspberry
  • Conagra Brands -- Juicy Strawberry Snack Pack cup
  • Dole -- gelatin with strawberry & peaches cup, Juice Fruit Gels strawberry cup 
  • Yoplait -- cherry yogurt, light strawberry yogurt, light cherry yogurt, light raspberry yogurt, light strawberry banana yogurt 
  • Upstate Farms -- strawberry yogurt, strawberry banana yogurt, cherry vanilla yogurt
  • Dannon -- Strawberry Danimals, Strawberry Banana Crush Danimals, strawberry smoothie, strawberry banana smoothie
  • General Mills --  GoGurt strawberry, Trix Triple Cherry yogurt, Trix Raspberry Rainbow, Trix Strawberry Banana Bash, LF strawberry parfait Pro Yogurt
  • J&J Snack Foods (Luigi’s) -- raspberry sherbert cup, Redi-Bake RF WG sugar cookie dough
  • Kemps -- frozen strawberry yogurt cup, NF strawberry yogurt
  • Wells Enterprises -- Strawberry Crunch novelty bar, novelty strawberry ice cream cup, strawberry novelty frozen fruit bar, FF raspberry sherbert cup, FF NSA strawberry novelty cup
  • Jonny Pops -- strawberry banana Jonny Pop novelty
  • Buena Vista -- IW red velvet WG cookie
  • Classic Delight -- WG frosted pink cookie
  • Aspire Bakeries (Otis Spunkmeyer) -- WG sugar cookie dough
  • C.H. Guenther & Son (Cookietree) -- WG sugar cookie dough
And that is just to mention a few!

Do we have you “REaDy” to add a few extra RED treats to your February menus?  Are you “PINK-ing” out your favorites to serve in your cafeteria? Serving up red and pink valentines can be as easy as searching the market basket and finding a few favorites to treat your peeps. If you are having trouble navigating the market basket or finding new pairings to build a creditable breakfast, lunch, or snack,  our food consultants are always here to assist. Feel free to reach out to us at any time. We would LOVE to help! If you are not an AEA Purchasing cooperative food member, we would love the opportunity to talk… Email megan@aeapurchasing.org.

We LOVE to spotlight our members on our Facebook and Twitter platforms! We encourage you to share your valentine photos and stories with us! 

Monday, January 9, 2023

Contract Profile: Acco/GBC

With over 75 years of experience, GBC is a trusted expert in print finishing solutions & services. They offer their customers a broad range of binding, lamination, shredding equipment, and supplies. GBC has been helping its customers transform printed materials from ordinary to extraordinary.

Along with providing equipment and supply solutions, GBC also has a team of 150 field technicians in the US and Canada who help you get peace of mind so you can stay productive. You will have a single point of contact for all your locations to communicate with and leverage that knowledge across all your locations.

As a member of the ACCO Brands family, GBC, a market leader in document finishing, proudly offers other ACCO Brands to provide complete solutions. Therefore, GBC is not just limited to print finishing solutions but can offer wide format solutions with SEAL, air purification with TruSens, glass boards/signage with Quartet, and computer accessories with Kensington. 

Visit GBC.com and work with Lauren to create your account to view your discounted pricing online. Please reference "STB2022AEAPURCH" in all correspondence.

Lauren Tyler
GBC Inside Sales

Friday, January 6, 2023

Benefits of Cooperative Purchasing (What Others are Saying)

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

1. Lower Costs
By combining orders and standardizing products and services, quantities purchased will increase, resulting in the benefits derived from the combined economies of scale of multiple organizations. 

2. Lower Administrative Costs
With one procurement process and one contract serving multiple organizations, administrative costs are reduced as preliminary work has been done.

3. Improved Response from Vendors
Vendors realize they are bidding on larger orders and will be encouraged to compete for the purchase. Greater competition should lead to lower bid pricing.

4. Higher Quality Products and Services
Procurement professionals study and consult with experts to write specifications. Cooperative organizations can produce better contracts for higher quality products and services, since shared experience results in the development of much better specifications for goods and services.

5. Better Compliance with State Statutes on Purchasing
Since many purchases will be subject to competitive bids, they will be in compliance with the statutes on biding.

6. Convenience
Instead of seeking quotes, bids, or proposals, customers simply select products and services from the cooperative contracts, saving considerable time and effort.

7. Utilization of Resources
Eligible entities are better able to utilize their human resources and/or procurement resources for other contracts and tasks.

8. Greatest Benefit
A survey conducted by Government Procurement (Go Pro)**, in 2011, showed that cities, counties, school districts, universities, special districts, and state agencies projected their entity’s use of cooperative contracts will increase and that the greatest benefit included time savings (89.4%), and expense savings (79.5%).

As an initiative of Iowa's Area Education Agencies, AEA Purchasing is your local source for cooperative procurement. In addition to the above, portions of every purchase from our contracted partners stay in Iowa to support our workforce and education system. 

For your next purchase, big or small, consider the options available to you via our various purchasing programs. If you need help getting started, let us know! We are in your neighborhoods waiting to serve.

Strategic sourcing. Sensational service!

*Including National Association of State Procurement Officials (NASPO); National Institute of Government Purchasing; (NIGP); National Association of Counties (NACo), National League of Cities (NLC), U.S. Conference of Mayors

**Cooperative Purchasing Today, American City & County Go Pro research quantifies usefulness of coop agreements, projects usage to expand, Aug. 1, 2011

Monday, January 2, 2023

Vendor Feature: Midwest Computer Products

Midwest Computer Products, Inc. (MCP) has been a proud supplier to AEA Purchasing for 30+ years specializing in audio-visual products and solutions. Sales representatives are well-versed in the technology needs of the school community and are available for onsite consultations. No job is too big or too small.

Whether designing and installation for specialty rooms, collaborative learning spaces, digital signage, or equipment upgrades, look to MCP as your trusted advisor for professional AV products and services for your school or district. 

Check out our products on the Statewide Technology Buy contract. These items include interactive flat panels from BenQ and Boxlight, plus, Epson laser projectors, Da-Lite screens, and ELMO document cameras.

For more information on how our contract can serve you, contact:

Midwest Computer Products, Inc.
Contract # STB2022AEAPURCH
Sean Bolton