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Case studies / Big Ass Fans

Big Ass Fans

Big Ass Fans took product training to new heights with Trakstar Learn

Based in Lexington, KY, Big Ass Fans is the preeminent designer and manufacturer of 6 ft. to 24’ diameter high volume/low-speed ceiling and vertical fans developed to provide significant energy savings and improve occupant comfort year-round in large commercial, industrial, agricultural, institutional and residential buildings. For the last several years, Big Ass Fans has ranked among the top 25 Best Places to Work in Kentucky, and also regularly receives both domestic and international acclaim for its commitment to innovation, engineering, and efficiency.

Trakstar Learn was a good choice for us because we could easily utilize the PowerPoints, videos, online content, PDF and Excel files we already had. Employees appreciate the flexibility of being able to take training from any computer or iPad with Internet access. And managers love that employees can fit training in around their already hectic work schedules.

Paul Curry / Learning Manager / Big Ass Fans


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.”


Since implementing the new Learn training program, managers have noted that employees are better utilizing knowledge and seem better prepared to craft tailored customer solutions.
Managers do not have to spend nearly as much time performing basic training.
And due to the quickness and efficiency of Learn, Paul and his team are “now able to launch new programs we previously never would have had the time to create.”

Additional Resources

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Trakstar is a multi-product HR software provider helping organizations put the people back in people management. Develop and align your staff through better recruiting and applicant tracking, performance management, and learning management. For a more integrated solution to talent management, check out our website and request a live demonstration today.