DECO Streamlines Seasonal Onboarding With Smartsheet

A seasonal company, the majority of DECO Windshield Repair’s hiring takes place during the spring. The company needed a tool that could streamline the new employee onboarding process to save time and effort across its 140 locations. Smartsheet was the clear winner.

Avg. read time: 4 min


  • Professional Services

Organization Size

  • Emerging and SMB (1-199)


  • North America

"Now because of powerful tools like Smartsheet, we’ve almost entirely eliminated the need for paper, which is fantastic — not only for environmental reasons, but it's just so much quicker and cleaner. It's hard to imagine how we used to operate before these tools."

Connor Chau

Business Systems Manager

For any enterprise, the effective hiring and training of talented employees is critical to success. Imagine the challenge for DECO Windshield Repair, a large Canadian company with a hiring and onboarding strategy that must flex around extreme weather.

Harsh Northern winters keep the customer-facing side of DECO’s business closed for several months of the year. Each spring, the company has to recruit and rehire its field staff of 200 individuals who will serve 140 locations across six provinces. DECO needed to streamline its new employee documentation and training processes to make the most efficient use of the limited time available.

“We’re a company that started with just two locations, and we’ve grown to over 140 locations across Canada,” says Connor Chau, business systems manager for DECO Windshield Repair. “One of our main values and philosophies is continuous improvement, learning — innovation in all areas.”

It Was Time to Ditch Paper

Chau started out as a field employee, when much of the company’s recruiting and onboarding work was being done with pen and paper. Hiring managers read through reams of printed applications and resumes to confirm who met requirements such as having their own car. Location managers sat down with new hires to work through payroll paperwork and collect signatures, then handed them a thick stack of sales training materials to master before starting to work with customers. When he joined the corporate team, Chau knew that DECO could bring most if not all of this manual work into the digital era.

DECO was already using Smartsheet, but not as effectively as possible, Chau said. Administrative staff were creating sheets to simplify individual tasks but not connecting parts of larger processes. Seeing an opportunity to save time and effort, Chau dove into Smartsheet training resources to learn how linking sheets, filtering data, and reporting could benefit the company. He soon found that by integrating its Smartsheet solution with specialized online services it was already using, DECO could make its business workflow almost entirely paperless.

Automating the Onboarding Process

Today DECO’s application, onboarding, payroll and offboarding processes are managed through automated data collection and filtering, connected through Smartsheet. Using an online application form integrated with Wufoo, job applicants quickly submit their experience, personal information, and professional goals. The information is captured by Smartsheet and integrated with Zapier to filter qualified applicants based on the specific attributes local managers are looking for to round out their team.

Once hired, new employees submit key employment information such as address or banking information via an online form that automatically populates Smartsheet data sheets for the teams who manage HR and payroll.

Saving time on administrative processes means more time is available to train employees on their new duties. When the new employee’s record is complete, the Smartsheet solution automatically starts emailing employees sales training information in stages to prepare them for their new roles.

“When someone starts, they have their own Slack account created,” Chau says. “Once they’ve been fully onboarded, that’s marked in our sheet, and they are sent a series of ‘Welcome to DECO’ messages that provide them with a sales 101 manual. That gets sent to them slowly, across three days, because there’s a lot to learn.”

Other HR Applications

The Smartsheet solution continues to save time after employees have settled into their new roles. Tracking sales data is an important part of both performance evaluation and pay for DECO field staff. Managers use Smartsheet to capture payroll information for each pay period, which is appropriately sorted and exported to DECO’s payroll system.

“Our actual sales process in the field has gotten more complicated, so we’ve needed to use Smartsheet to collect relevant user and sales information in a way that’s clean and easily understood, and then also nicely transmits to our payroll system,” Chau says. “Smartsheet acts as a go-between for our main point-of-sale systems.”

DECO can process outgoing employees more quickly as well. When a manager marks an employee as inactive in the data sheet, a simple offboarding form is automatically generated to capture the correct status updates. This saves a great deal of administrative time when the majority of locations close down as winter approaches and the corporate team shifts into planning mode for the distant spring.

Chau says the shift to a digital process has improved business processes not only for the local managers but for the entire administrative team.

“Now because of powerful tools like Smartsheet, we’ve almost entirely eliminated the need for paper, which is fantastic — not only for environmental reasons, but it's just so much quicker and cleaner. It's hard to imagine how we used to operate before these tools,” he says.