Even as the robins return and the daffodils pop with cheery yellows here in Iowa, the world seems to be turning just a little slower this spring, providing time to consider what matters.
While APS is open and working hard to serve our customers as part of the defense industrial base, we are grappling with swift changes just like the rest of the world.
We are also increasingly grateful.
Grateful to be part of a team that’s tough, flexible and creative.
Grateful to our customers who trust us to provide critical products and services in times of great uncertainty.
Grateful to our vendors who are working hard to supply us with the materials and assistance we need to get the job done.
And grateful for local, state and federal organizations and programs that have always worked on behalf of small businesses like APS, and whose strength, smarts and savvy are a lifeboat for so many right now.
That’s why we’re using April to say thank you.
We’ll be highlighting customers, vendors and other partners here and across social media throughout the month. You can watch this post for updates and additions all April long.
Please join us as we say thank you.
We’ll be using the hashtags #aprilacknowledgement and #amplifyapril.
Watch for them and use them -- and don’t forget to say thanks.
1 | CIRAS, The Center
for Industrial Research and Service at Iowa State University
According to its website, CIRAS was born from a desire to improve Iowans’ quality of life by bolstering the businesses in the state. Today the organization helps Iowa industry prosper and grow by helping individual companies put together solutions specific to their needs.
CIRAS has assisted APS in numerous ways, from connecting us with industry experts in the areas as diverse as cybersecurity and Department of Defense compliance to international marketing and export strategy.
It’s not surprising that CIRAS, with the help of its own partners, has helped businesses in each county in the state to the tune of over 4,100 projects that created over $2.5 billion in economic impact for Iowa since 2015.
At present, CIRAS is working with businesses across the state to help mitigate the myriad issues being caused by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. For no-cost help, contact CIRAS at email@example.com.
Longtime APS partner and distributor Cre8 Associated Limited was formed in January 2004 by personnel from military, aerospace and automotive sectors.
Now 17th year, Cre8 is located at Bruntingthorpe Proving Ground in Leicestershire, UK. The company operates a vehicle workshop, electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) chamber, 30-meter open area test site and electronics/electrical laboratories.
Cre8 serves the global electronics sector by supplying products and services in the fields of automotive electrical, data acquisition, EMC, EMC filter manufacture and project management. The Cre8 team works in the UK, Germany, Scandinavia, South Korea and the United States.
Founded in 1953, the United States Small Business Administration (SBA) helps people plan, launch, manage and grow their businesses with programs and services that range from funding (including loans and grants), federal contracting assistance programs for qualifying businesses, and education.
SBA also administers its annual Small Business Week Awards, which recognize local small businesses in a number of categories and highlights overall winners during National Small Business Week, normally announced by the President in April and held in May in Washington D.C. (This year’s events are postponed.)
APS has benefited from the SBA-funded Iowa State Trade Expansion Program, which grants funding to small businesses working to increase their exports. In addition, in 2020 SBA named APS its Exporter of the Year for the State of Iowa and the Great Plains Region (Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska).
To get in touch with SBA in Iowa, contact the Iowa District Office in Des Moines at (515) 284-4422. For more information about SBA programs, visit the SBA website.
APS partner Volta Power Systems manufactures automotive-grade lithium ion battery storage systems for mobile applications. Working primarily with vehicle OEMs, Volta eliminates the cost of li-on research and development for its clients. Its product gives end users the ability to venture further afield than other solutions with quick-charging energy storage banks that provide ample current to run equipment like air conditioners and work-related fixtures and tools.
Volta was founded in 2014 by four engineers with over 115 years’ combined experience in electrical systems. The company’s solution is currently in use by Winnebago, Liberty Coach, Storyteller, ETI, Advanced RV and Prevost.
The Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce serves businesses in the Iowa-Illinois, bi-state metropolitan area where APS is located through economic development initiatives, business services, regional planning and special support for downtowns.
APS has benefited from many of the Chamber’s programs and services – among them, its technology playbooks, supply chain mapping tool and education, provided through an Illinois Defense Industry Adjustment Grant administered by the Quad Cities Manufacturing Innovation Hub at the Chamber.
To learn more about the QC Chamber, visit quadcitieschamber.com/ or call (563) 322-1706.
The Association of the United States Army, AUSA, is a private, non-profit educational organization that supports the United States’ “Total Army,” which includes Active Duty, Army Reserve, National Guard, Department of the Army civilians, retirees and their family members.
APS’s local chapter–RIA AUSA Chapter 5102—supports the region’s Total Army from the Rock Island Arsenal, an active US Army facility located on an island in the Mississippi River between Davenport, Iowa and Rock Island, Ill. , which houses both Army Sustainment Command (ASC) and First Army.
For more information or to join RIA AUSA, visit https://www.ausa.org/chapters/rock-island-arsenal-chapter or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Polaris Government & Defense Vehicles is a division of Polaris, the Minnesota-based snowmobile pioneer founded by two brothers and a friend after World War II. In the 1980s and 90s, Polaris became the first all-terrain OEM to produce militarized vehicles to meet rising demand. In 2005 the company founded its Government & Defense division, which makes vehicles for the United States Army and Special Forces Operations Command (SOCOM), among other governmental agencies and bodies.
Today APS partners with Polaris to create and deliver power systems to SOCOM on two platforms: the DAGOR (read the case study here) and the MRZR-D.
The Iowa Lean Consortium (ILC) provides member organizations with opportunities to learn about continuous improvement through member facility tours, webinars and other online learning platforms, chances to regularly meet and discuss the Lean journey with other members, a mentoring program and more. ILC serves business, education, healthcare, government, manufacturing and service providers.
Housed by the Center for Industrial Research and Service at Iowa State University, the organization also hosts special events, such as the upcoming Kentucky Toyota Tour and Workshop, as well as an annual conference.
For more information about ILC, visit the website.
Known the world over as major force in science and technology discovery and innovation, Battelle is a private non-profit that works in both government and commercial sectors to create solutions in the areas of agribusiness, energy, environment, health, national security and public safety, oil and gas and others.
APS partners with Battelle’s Armored & Unarmored Commercial Vehicles program, which delivers armoring and other specialized solutions for the commercial vehicles that government agencies depend upon because of the ability to find spares and service around the world.
10 | Iowa Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC)
Iowa’s PTAC offices – part of a network of 300 across the US – educate businesses about how the government buys things and how they can sell their products and services to government agencies. PTAC also helps businesses understand the opportunities that government contracting can provide, and gives them the technical knowledge they need to register for various government contracting websites, identify opportunities that match their own capabilities, and prepare and submit bids – among other steps required for success in the market. All services are provided at no cost, or with a nominal cost, to Iowa companies.
APS has benefited from PTAC services housed at Iowa State University by the Center for Industrial Research and Service (CIRAS). To make contact, visit the website.
11 | Allen Vanguard
Allen Vanguard, headquartered in Ottawa, Canada, provides solutions to protect law enforcement, military and security end-users in a variety of environments and theaters around the world. Specializing in electronic countermeasures -- known within the industry as ECM or “jammers” -- Allen Vanguard has solutions that help personnel stay safe against radio-controlled explosives and drone threats.
APS has partnered with Allen Vanguard to provide quality power solutions for specialty vehicle platforms.
Learn more by visiting the Allen Vanguard website or calling (800) 644-9078.
12 | US Commercial Service
As part of the US Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration, the US Commercial Service exists to help US businesses export and grow. The organization provides a number of low-cost services to assist businesses with tasks from high-level to nitty gritty: from developing an export strategy and reviewing potential new markets, to profiling potential business partners and helping find potential service providers in a new place.
APS has relied on the US Commercial Service to assist with certain business development activities and to provide a level of assurance when we interact with new customers abroad.
To learn more, visit the US Commercial Website.
13 | Off Road Engineering LLC
Off Road Engineering LLC (ORE) of Santa Margarita, Calif. designs and manufactures automotive throttle and idle systems for off-road enthusiasts. Since 1999 with the introduction of their “off road cruise control” device, the company has grown and expanded its offerings.
APS proudly partners with ORE to provide ample power for special working vehicles such as ambulances, animal transport vehicles, emergency command, law enforcement and mobile intensive care units, prisoner transportation vehicles, transit and limousine-style buses, septic tank pumpers, SUV limousines and tow trucks.
To learn more, visit ORE’s website at www.offroadengineering.com.
14 | WIN3, Inc.
WIN3, Inc. represents manufacturers and engineering service providers with the goal of developing and maintaining long-term relationships that are win-win-win for all parties – hence “Win3.” Serving Iowa, Minnesota, North and South Dakota and western Wisconsin, WIN3 has been in business for over 20 years.
APS has relied upon WIN3 for cost-effective, reliable solutions for many of those years.
For more information about WIN3, visit www.win3inc.net or call (952) 448-6230.
15 | Republic Parking
Republic Parking provides automated parking systems, parking facility design and review, and on- and off-street parking management systems.The company serves airports, municipalities, heath care facilities and other commercial entities. They also offer parking services for events, including shuttle services, and more.
APS is proud to partner with Republic Parking to provide ample power at idle for its short-route bus fleet in Kentucky.
To learn more about Republic Parking, visit https://www.republicparking.com/.