From shop floor to industry leader: Crompton Control's MD 30 years in the making

By Crompton Controls
schedule29th May 24

A story of ambition, determination and continuous learning. In manufacturing working your way up from shop floor to Managing Director isn't uncommon, one of the many reasons individuals should consider a role in UK industry. For Crompton Controls Dave Chappell, starting out on the shop floor and rising to the head of the company, whilst being part of the company for his entire working life - his story is nothing short of inspiring. With Crompton Controls Factory tourcoming up, Made in Yorkshire look back through Dave's career and why this manufacturing firm is worth seeing for yourself. 

Crompton Controls, formerly part of Brook Motors, manufactures motor controls, BMS panels and other electrical components. The company traces its heritage back to Rookes Evelyn Bell Crompton - who was responsible for the world's first public electricity supply as well as introducing lighting networks to Australia and India. “Every electric motor needs a controller, 10,000,000 low voltage electric motors are in use every day and that's what we control from our little site in Wakefield everyday”, proudly stated by Dave Chappell, Managing Director at Crompton Controls, as a guest on the Finest Hour Podcast by Made in Group

Celebrating their 120th anniversary in 2024, the company is set to host a factory tour with Made in Yorkshire on 13th June. Members of Made in Yorkshire are set to attend and will be taken on a guided tour from design, manufacture to the distribution of electrical applications. From pioneering industrial electric motors, to introducing cutting edge automation and smart control solutions, the company has also eliminated their plastic waste to drive sustainability. 

(Image: Crompton Controls Factory Floor in Wakefeild) 

Starting out at Crompton Controls at just 19 years old, Dave took every learning opportunity he could in order to achieve his ambition of being an industry leader. “I have always been ambitious, I wanted to move higher and prove myself”. Dave continued. In order to achieve this, Dave moved through each department of the business in order to learn every aspect and vital experiences to lead. “I class the 30 years as my apprenticeship” Dave said, whilst he discussed the importance of learning outside of work hours to achieve one's goal. 

Whilst ambition can lead to challenges along the way, staying loyal to a company is important to achieve success. Dave said: “I grew up in this business, and having colleagues who are friends outside of work builds a sense of loyalty.” However sometimes, when life happens unexpectedly, it is easy to feel that the ‘grass may be greener on the other side’. Dave talks about how some years ago, he did feel the need to move on from Crompton Controls due to “frustration and different priorities when growing.” The new opportunity he undertook is what gave him the chance to prove he had the skills to be a leader, which ultimately took him back to his passion - manufacturing at Crompton Controls. 

Now as Managing Director, Dave believes employees are central to the success of Crompton Controls. He said: “Their loyalty, Innovation, and dedication drive us forward.” Jayne Jaques, Purchasing Manager at Crompton Controls, has worked for the business for 37 years. She highlighted the company’s supportive and nurturing environment including opportunities for personal growth and development. Jayne has also been with company for most of her life because of the sense of belonging and appreciation. 

(Image: (L-R) Dave Chappell (Second in from the left) Jayne Jaques and some of the team at Crompton Controls) 

Manufacturing leaders are set to see firsthand a business that its employees have been loyal to for most of their lives, full of innovation and manufacturing excellence in the heart of Yorkshire. Established in 1904, the company has made leaps and bounds to make advancements in their milling, drilling and laser cutting to optimise efficiency and minimise downtime. Learning from industry leaders, like Dave, who have worked their way throughout a business is valuable insight to improve operations and enhance business practices. 

Don’t miss out on witnessing the manufacturing excellence, through its people and processes, at Crompton Controls on 13th June 9am-11am in Wakefield.

Register here. 


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