The city of Vancouver. WA, whose City Council switched to using Apple’s iPad for meetings in January, has reported substantial savings since switching, and expects to save a much as 50,000 pages of printing per year.
Josh Ong, reporting for AppleInsider:
Vancouver began its paperless City Council test in January. After two months, the transition to iPads has brought about a 40 percent reduction in the amount of pages printed for meetings.
The city has tested Apple’s touchscreen tablet as a replacement for meeting packets at council meetings, orientation sessions, a retreat and the applicant review process for advisory board/commission vacancies. The City Council will complete its transition to paperless later this spring, though it will continue to offer printouts to citizens attending its meetings.
City Council member Jack Burkman, a former high tech executive, championed the switch to the iPad. He worked with the city’s management team to try out several methods for loading needed documents onto his iPad before meetings. Ultimately, it was decided to use an internal FTP website to store PDF files for downloading by council members.
The iPad has also helped Vancouver’s leadership team increase their productivity at meetings. “Many leaders had blackberry smart phones for email access, but with small video screens, they were difficult to reply in email. The iPads allowed staff to review internet sites as part of the meeting or share multi-page documents paperlessly for their discussion,” the city’s statement read.
Ong continues, “Switching from Research in Motion’s BlackBerry to the iPad results in a costs savings for the city as well. The city estimates it pays $71 per month for BlackBerry access and just $43 per month for unlimited iPad data. As such, Vancouver estimates savings of up to $336 per year for each iPad that replaces a BlackBerry.”
Printing out packets for just one agenda item for a meeting can cost up to as much as $21.10. Considering there are usually between 8 to 10 agenda items per meeting, Vancouver could save as much as $200 per meeting.