Monday, September 26, 2011

Montgomery Township, Paper, iPADS & Paperless

I just had to chime on this google alert I picked up for Montgomery Township, PA. 

The article Montgomery Township Looking to Go Paperless tells how the Township is trying to cost justify iPADS, claiming Supervisors could use the iPADS to view government meeting documents.

Seems to me who ever is doing the math has got it all wrong!  Here's an excerpt from that story "Grier estimated that supervisors have used 2,833 pages of paper on average over three years between 2009 and 2011."  and then this "The estimated annual paper for five packets is 14,167 pages or 28 reams."

First and foremost if 2,833 pages of paper were used in three years, then how the heck can you then come up with 14,167 pages.  Typical copy paper as long as it's not laced with Gold is packed 500 sheets to a ream and 10 reams to case.  But, if the supervisors have only used 2,833 pages of paper for 3 years that would have a total of 8,499 pages.   Furthermore the next line states that the cost of a ream of paper is $5.44 per ream, thus a case of this paper is $54.40 per ream.  I ask where the hell are they buying their paper from and for $54.40 per ream it's gotta be laced with GOLD right?  

In nearby North Wales, Pa., there's a Staples store that is selling cases of multifunctional copy paper for $31.99 per case or $3.19 per ream.  It would seem to be that a Township the size of Montgomery does NOT buy paper by the ream but by the case, and if they are buying by the ream then I suggest the Administrator needs to find a new job!  Basically, it seems there's a flaw in the math with the total amount of pages used in three years along with the cost of a ream of paper priced at 160% over the price at Staples.  Griers estimate for paper should be more like 18 reams of paper for 9,000 pages and a cost to the Township of $57.42 and not the $154.13 which I might add that the math is wrong here also.  It could just be a case of bad reporting, right?

At $5.44 a ream, that is an estimated annual total of $154.13. With $480 estimated annual cost for administrative staff at one hour per meeting, and $960 in delivery costs at one hour per meeting, estimated annual costs total $1,594.13. The average tablet cost is $550, totaling $2,750 for five electronic tablets.
One of the statements in the article suggested there was a 21 month buyback.  If you reduced all of the paper based on the cost of $3.19 per ream and the $57.42 per case the buyback would be more like 49 months!  Well, that a horse of a different color, 4 year old iPADS, even three years may be a stretch.

They didn;t even discuss the fact about print drivers, since they have all of the documents on the iPAD what happens when they need to print?  What about scanning paper based and legacy documents, how are they going to do that?  Does their current copier support scanning, maybe it does, maybe it doesn't.   No one even spoke about the fact that most likely the documents that would be scanned would not be search able .pdfs.

Again, the main thing here that caught my eye was the paper cost, and seems to me that someone got it wrong and someone just wants iPADS to be cool or for whatever reason.  iPADS are media centric tablet devices and they are great at that.

Go and research a Ricoh ewriter before you waste the tax payers money.


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