City council saves $17,000 each year by going paperless

February 8, 2013

For some city governments and schools, the idea of implementing a completely paperless system may seem daunting. But when an Ohio city’s switch to an all digital city council, the numbers showed that the money saved in one year almost completely paid for the one-time fees to make the switch.

According to the Akron Beacon Journal, the members of Columbus’s city council used to receive large binders with papers regarding the legislation. If any amendments were made, new copies and additional papers were distributed. One councilman, realizing how much paper was being wasted, suggested supplying members and legislative aides with iPads and updating the wireless network in to the City Hall. Though it cost $20,000 for the iPads and updated features, in 2012, the first year of being paperless saved the city more than $17,000 in paper, ink and other costs.

Though there was some hesitance to use the new technology, Troy Miller, who suggested the switch, told the news source most are happy with the changes. “[Council members] like paper to circle and highlight,” he said. “I showed them the functions on the iPad. After two weeks, council members were saying it was great. They didn’t have to drag their packets with them.”

Now, other town councils in Ohio are following suite. Dayton town council members now bring laptops to meetings instead of relying on paper packets, and the Akron City Council has created a committee that is looking into going digital.

Part of the costs considered in moving to a paperless system in your office or organization is the labor costs, especially since there are high volumes of paper that need to be transferred over. But bulk scanning services can help make the labor costs more affordable, helping companies save money as quickly as possible.

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