AFS brings order to on-boarding with SharePoint and Crow Canyon's NITRO Workflow solution

Published on July 15, 2019


AFS strives to make the world a more just and peaceful place by providing international and intercultural learning experiences to individuals, families, schools, and communities through a global volunteer partnership.

A global nonprofit organization, AFS works in over 50 countries to provide opportunities for cultural exchange for students from around the world. This is made possible, by dedicated AFS employees and of course volunteers—more than 4,400 in the U.S. and over 50,000 worldwide. This makes for a very busy and active on-boarding/off-boarding process. AFS’s SharePoint Administrator and IT Project Manager, Joe Collins, needed a solution to streamline this process in SharePoint.

Crow Canyon’s on-boarding application for SharePoint gave AFS the solution they needed to automate, streamline, and secure employee on-boarding and ensure tasks were not left undone.


AFS had a labor-intensive and manual process to manage on-boarding using Excel spreadsheets and Outlook tasks, making it difficult to efficiently track new and departing employees. The system was racked with problems: missed tasks, delayed responses, and security issues. This made on-boarding slow and arduous.

The organization was tasked with finding a better on-boarding solution. They made this their #1 priority, knowing how important an efficient system was. They also realized that, as a non-profit, it was vital to make every dollar count and keep administration costs low through improved processes. They looked for a solution to manage tasks, create easy workflows, and reduce risks for better adherence and accountability.

AFS found that Crow Canyon Software’s on-boarding application that integrates with SharePoint and Office 365, completely fit their needs and provided a powerful and low-cost solution to this problem.


With the high degree of configurability of the Crow Canyon application, AFS was able to modify workflows and process to meet their specific needs.

Working with Crow Canyon, AFS implemented Crow Canyon’s NITRO Studio solution which adds forms, workflows, reports, portals and many other additional enhancements to SharePoint and Office 365. The solution that AFS implemented starts with a SharePoint Site and lists. In addition to SharePoint, Crown Canyon’s NITRO Studio forms, workflows, and other features, enables the organization to work within SharePoint to get the unique on-boarding solution they need.

By using NITRO’s robust, flexible, highly interactive forms, accompanied by workflows and actions that are easily configured using the NITRO workflow engine, Crow Canyon provided AFS a way to more easily manage the intake of employees (initial inquires, assessments, analysis, and the associated tasks with bringing the person on board) as well as the departure of employees (removing rights, collecting equipment, writing evaluations, etc.).

All this was done in SharePoint, using the site and list structure in conjunction with the enhancements that NITRO provides — forms, workflows, actions, reporting, formatting, portals, KB, and much more. These NITRO features add the power needed to run a truly effective on-boarding and off-boarding application within SharePoint.

“By deploying Crow Canyon’s Onboarding Business Application, combined with the exceptional training and support provided to us, we have created an advanced workflow solution within our SharePoint platform that meets all the needs for our onboarding/offboarding process. This has saved us time, resources and eliminated the potential for error and frustration, that was a huge part of our manual process. We can now easily and efficiently bring on a new employee and get them up and running smoothly and quickly, while securing sensitive data during the offboarding process.”

Joe Collins (IT Project Manager, SharePoint Administrator, AFS-USA)


AFS is now running over 100 workflows to process its vigorous demands of on-boarding and off-boarding. In fact, Joe was new to building workflows in SharePoint and found the training and support he received from Crow Canyon to be invaluable. He is now building workflows independently to keep up with the ever-changing demands of the HR Department as it brings on or releases the many employees that help make AFS run.