ice skating

Case Study: Skate Canada

Skate Canada and Ricoh partner to preserve history and modernize accounting and printing.

About the customer

Skate Canada, a not-for-profit organization in the capital city of Ottawa, is the largest, oldest figure skating organization in the world. Best known for hosting figure skating championships across Canada, they also have learn-to-skate and skill-development programs that help more than 180,000 skaters hone their on-ice skills — which can be used in figure, hockey, ringette or speed skating. Skate Canada is comprised of more than 1,200 skating clubs, has more than 5,500 member coaches and is supported by more than 10,000 volunteers.

"We've had an incredibly positive experience with Ricoh. They've been very easy to work with, very responsive to requests and didn't try to sell us something that wouldn't work for us."

Debra Armstrong

CEO of Skate Canada


  • Antiquated, end-of-life legacy accounting system

  • High cost to store historical materials that were deteriorating

  • Expensive short-term printer rental for events

  • Too many print devices, excessive paper waste

 As an organization, Skate Canada had an antiquated accounting system that was paper-intensive, lacked a reporting structure for details on transactions and wasn't supported by the proper IT infrastructure. The system was so inefficient that Skate Canada accounting employees had to write and sign thousands of paper cheques a month by hand. To make matters worse, this legacy system was end-of-life, out of warranty and constantly breaking down.

Skate Canada also had decades worth of historical materials that it was paying $36,000 a year to store in a warehouse in Edmonton, which was more than 2,400 kilometers away. When requests came in for a clip to be used on TV or in advertising, the distance made it difficult to access information and sometimes, Skate Canada missed the deadline. That is, if the footage was even intact. The information was stored on a multitude of media types — VHS, BETA, hard drives, audio cassettes, etc. — and some of it was deteriorating.

At the six or more annual championship events, Skate Canada needed anywhere from 5 to 15 printers to print schedules and programs for attendees and scoring materials for judges and coaches. However, short-term printer rental came at a premium price, and the devices shipped were typically clearance or used models — not the technology needed to make printing more efficient. Plus, the volunteers who printed materials for the events output far more than was typically distributed, leading to excessive paper waste.


  • 99.999% guaranteed uptime for cloud-based accounting

  • Cut $36,000 in annual warehouse storage costs

  • Eliminated $75,000 in printer rental costs

  • More efficient printing, reduced waste

With its custom-built accounting solution hosted in the cloud, Skate Canada now has a far more reliable environment with a guaranteed uptime of 99.999 percent. With new features such as electronic funds processing and digital check printing, Skate Canada has reduced manual steps and paper-based processes in its workflow — freeing up accounting staff to focus on more high-value work.

Now, when requests come in for historical footage, Skate Canada has everything they need at their fingertips, in digital form, to retrieve the information quickly. Access to this information could also be a source of revenue generation for the organization going forward. With all of its deteriorating video footage digitized, Skate Canada no longer worries that its rich history will be lost to current and future generations. And, the organization has been able to eliminate the $36,000 it spent annually on warehouse storage costs.

Ricoh also committed to become a sponsor of Skate Canada events and agreed to provide printers and paper at championship events — eliminating the organization's approximately $75,000 investment in annual rental costs. In addition to devices, we assumed responsibility for service, shipping and installation of each print device. Our top-of-the-line, fully-accessorized technology has made printing at events more efficient for Skate Canada's volunteers. And, by embracing print-on-demand, the organization has been able to significantly reduce its paper waste.

How We Did It

  • Built a new accounting system hosted in the cloud

  • Digitized and indexed 30+ years of historical footage

  • Provided print devices through a sponsorship program

  • Equipped devices with accessories for print-on-demand

For its biggest pain point — the antiquated, labor intensive accounting environment — we enlisted the expertise of our Professional Services team. We built a more streamlined accounting environment, similar to its previous on-premises solution to simplify adoption, and hosted it in our private cloud. We revamped Skate Canada's IT infrastructure to support the new accounting environment. And, we built reporting into the solution to provide details on financial transactions, enabling electronic funds processing and digital check printing for payments.

To ensure easy access to historical, deteriorating footage stored on 5,900 different types of film in a warehouse far away, we digitized all of Skate Canada's video coverage. We finished digitization in 60 days — rather than the 120 days we originally estimated — and provided Skate Canada with all of the preserved footage on two hard drives; one for fulfilling new footage requests and another for backup to preserve its history in perpetuity.

To provide the right printers and support, we began by investigating Skate Canada's print needs and helped them understand how they currently use print devices. We educated the organization on how print-on-demand would better serve its needs and generate far less waste. As part of our sponsorship of Skate Canada, we provided newer, fully accessorized multifunction devices for events with finishers to staple and sort inline as well as boxes of different colored paper to support print-on-demand. We also dedicated an on-call print technician for critical service if a printer needed attention at an event.

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