Big Ass Fans has a rapidly growing business. They have expanded their distributor network, doubled employee growth over the past five years, even hiring 100 new employees in a single year. They are also expanding into a new 240,000 square-foot building where they project to be adding several hundred additional employees over the coming few years.
Until 2012, all corporate training had been presented as informal, on-the-job learning, developed and facilitated primarily by subject matter experts from within the management or engineering departments. Employees typically would receive a binder of information or hear a lecture, but there was no formalized training/learning approach.
With a newly re-designed product line set to launch in 4-months, senior management realized that they needed a more thoughtful approach to training. Proper training is vital in the manufacturing and sales industry, and Big Ass Fans required a more efficient and effective solution. A Learning Manager was hired and tasked with finding a learning solution and designing and developing a new training program in time for the product launch.
With only a 4-month deadline, Big Ass Fans needed a tool to help get their program quickly off the ground. They analyzed various training solutions but concluded that most were bloated software packages with features he’d never use, or whose expense couldn’t be justified with a solid return on investment. Security was also an essential factor, so open source solutions were not an option.
While researching potential solutions online, Big Ass Fans discovered Trakstar Learn. “Learn was a good choice for us because we could easily utilize the PowerPoints, videos, online content, PDF and Excel files we already had,” Paul Curry, Learning Manager, said.
Well, ahead of the deadline, Learn courses for every product line within the company were created. Individual Learn courses also cover topics such as installation techniques, company history, corporate culture, and dress code. Recently, in addition to courses for employees, Big Ass Fans has expanded its Learn training program to include courses for a select group of external, international distributors. At any given time, the company has roughly 200 active trainees on the Learn program.
According to Paul, Trakstar Learn has “become a core component of our new employee onboarding program.”
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