Crane and Hoist Canada

The Crosby Group names general manager of load monitoring

March 30, 2020  By Crosby Group

Thomas Dietvorst (left), general manager, load monitoring and former Straightpoint owner David Ayling outside the company’s Hampshire, UK facility.

The Crosby Group appointed Thomas Dietvorst general manager, load monitoring, after David Ayling, the former owner of the Straightpoint (SP) company stepped into a consultancy role.

Dietvorst will take the reins at SP’s manufacturing facility and headquarters, co-located in Hampshire, UK that became Crosby’s centre of excellence for load monitoring and measurement following the January 2019 acquisition. He will report to Jason Colwell, managing director, EMEA at Crosby. Ayling, meanwhile, will transition from his temporary role as global business development director for load monitoring solutions to long-term consultant.

“There is no replacing someone who has lived the company for 20 years. I’m not trying to be the new Mr. Loadlink [Ayling’s blogging pseudonym]. The new leadership role is suited to my skillset, not David’s; we’re different, but very similar,” said Dietvorst. “I wouldn’t be equipped to do what he does and vice versa. Our priority is to retain SP’s ‘secret sauce’, which is based on being agile, mobile and customer orientated. We’re looking at adding even more data and processes to the operation; there’s always room for improvement.”

Dietvorst, 30, was previously strategic marketing manager at Crosby, based in Belgium, having joined the company two years ago as product manager. Suitably, there has been a constant product centricity to his career, having overseen the launch of an 85-plus tonne shackle range and many other research and development programmes. Additionally, he has led on marketing and training projects.


Dietvorst, a Belgian, will relocate to the Havant area near SP’s facility, with travel and commitments at Crosby Europe in Heist-op-den-Berg in his home country making up the remainder of his time. He has a Masters in Science in Product Development (MSc) from the University of Antwerp, and a Masters in General Management (MBA) from the Vlerick Business School.

“As I wrote in my final blog, an MBA without the DNA is useless, but Dietvorst brings the latter in spades. We couldn’t have found someone more suited to the role. Thomas can take the company in a direction that I wouldn’t have been able to as the owner of two decades. He sees things from an exciting, fresh perspective, which is great news for staff, distributors, end users and the entire SP community,” said Ayling.

Dietvorst acknowledged that there are challenges to face, and the early throes of leadership have been, and will continue to be, impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak.

“We are keeping in regular contact with our customers. Our vertically integrated manufacturing structure will enable us to limit negative impact on supply chains,” he said. “The more planned steps were to make sure the whole team is comfortable. The captain has left and a new—let’s be honest—young guy has taken over. Importantly, David will be here in a supporting role so it’s not a case of ‘goodbye, you’re on your own’. The fact that he’s only seconds away on the end of the phone will be invaluable going forwards.”

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