Is there anything an iPad can’t do?

Give a man a hammer, everything is a nail. Give a man an iPad, everything is an ‘app’.

When I went to the theater this weekend, an iPad and several iPhones were used to set the mood by casting a rainbow of soft, shifting colors on the movie screen.

Then there’s the heavy, but high tech, name tag app. This app shows a sense of style and prowess while attending a conference about ‘technology’:

The salsa app is my personal favorite:

“Remember the iPod?” That is sooo 2001…  But the iPad: now that’s here to stay!

Paperless at the Co-op Board Meeting? posted some material that made its way into one of our board packets.  Read the full article here.

“I rolled into the board room a handcart carrying 22 reams of paper, I told them, ‘this is a year’s worth of paper.’”

This quote came from the same source.  Read the full article here.

“Before you know it you’ve gone through 25,000 sheets of paper, or 50 reams, in a year. [We’re] going paperless to cut costs and increase efficiency.”


I decided to decipher all the articles and posts about cutting costs by using iPads in place of paper or a web page in Electric Co-ops.  Is there more wheat than chaff or is it more hype and type?

Not wanting to miss out on the efficiencies offered by iPad presentation technology, I called the accounting department and asked them how much a box of paper cost us: $27.90.  So, $27.90 for 5,000 sheets; printing on each is .02 per page: that gives me $127.90 for 5000 printed sheets of paper or $0.026 per sheet.  Each of our 7 board members are getting an average 85-page summary per month – this amounts to around 600 printed pages a year for each board member * 7 board members = $185.64.

Using mathematics technology I learned in the third-grade, I was able to derive that printing board reports are costing the co-op $15.35 per annum negating the capital expense of the fully-depreciated $350 printer on the executive secretary’s desk.  Needing to get the reports to the board members, it would cost $5 in postage * 7 board members = $35 per month * 12 months = $420 postage per annum.

(Start Edit) It was later brought up to me that the executive secretary’s time was not accounted for in my 3rd grade calculation.  I did ask payroll if the secretary was getting a significant amount of overtime during the board weeks: “No”.  Armed with this information, I made the assumption that overall time spent compiling the reports was not significant enough to take into account. My rationale was that the wage is going to be paid if time was spent surfing Facebook or stuffing envelopes, regardless.  The time to compile the information is the most significant factor no matter if the effort goes into printed or digital medium.
I’m sure that there’s one person out there who is going to argue that time could be spent doing “other” things – such as researching the cure for cancer, taking on a teaching job with an online university, or some other noble cause.  Unfortunately, I can’t quantify this in real terms. SO… (End Edit)

In total, it is costing me $605.64 per year for all board members to get their reports using the latest of USPS and yesteryear laser printing technology.

Now to find the cost savings! First, let’s add the costs involved with a ‘high-tech’ iPad board report:

  1. iPod2 (mid-grade): $599.99
  2. ‘apps’: $50 (let’s be conservative)
  3. 4/3G Internet MRC@ $59 per month * 12 months = $708 * 7 board members…


Need I calculate further?

facetious & sarcastic curmudgeon


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s