By Kristy Dorsey

Kirk Anderson is the managing director of Load Monitoring Systems, an Aberdeen-based supplier of intelligent lifting equipment to a range of sectors.

The company earns around half of its revenue overseas and won a King's award for international trade, which Mr Anderson said has ultimately proved to be the springboard for even more success outside its homeland.

Here he explains why he would love to be a Formula 1 boss and looks up to Sir Alex Ferguson for leadership inspiration.

What is your business called, and when was it set up?

Load Monitoring Systems (LMS) was established by myself and Millar Kennedy in 2016.

Where is it based?

Aberdeen, Scotland

What does it produce/do?

Our award-winning company specialises in the design, manufacture, sale, rental, repair and calibration of superior intelligent lifting equipment and load monitoring products including load cells, winch monitoring, air skates, digital pad eye systems, data logging and crane safety instrumentation. LMS also has a comprehensive range of testing, calibration and repair facilities at its Aberdeen HQ. The portfolio is delivered by a dedicated team of industry experts with combined experience which extends to more than 200 years.

To whom does it sell?

LMS products are used in a wide range of industry sectors including energy, renewables, subsea, decommissioning, aquaculture, entertainment and construction. Overseas trading currently accounts for around half the company’s revenue, with the business providing global support to over 50 countries and on most continents.

What is its turnover?

£4 million

How many employees?


Why did you take the plunge?

Millar and I both worked for large corporate entities for many years and we both got to the stage of feeling we were just a number. We formed a JV with an American company which was quickly acquired and then we created LMS to sit at the front and centre of our field, establishing a robust reputation as a primary go-to source.

Wireless intelligent lifting technology is the main feature of our portfolio. We have created a business that has a reputation for being extremely responsive to customer needs in the UK or anywhere else in the world, focusing our attention on making sure we understand customer needs then evaluating how we support them with a can-do attitude.

What do you least enjoy?

The uncertainty of our governments and the bureaucracy and red tape which exist cause volatile market swings. The consequences of this include challenges around supplier pricing, lead times and freight issues all of which can have a knock-on effect on the outcome for our customers. What I enjoy least, therefore, is letting customers down due to elements out with our control. What are your ambitions for the firm?

We want to be a world-leading supplier of intelligent lifting equipment that makes work environments safer. We continually strive to deliver high standards both in the quality of our products and support to our customers, and that is unrelenting.

The international business stage holds numerous opportunities for us, and international expansion which replicates the sector diversity we have achieved in the UK are crucial to future success. Our drive and ambition to achieve further global success remains as strong as ever - watch this space.

What single thing would most help?

A crystal ball. Because we are operating in the UK and overseas, we often have a lot of things coming at us all at once and sometimes it would be handy to be able to see them coming earlier. We all know that change is inevitable but when you are dealing with many international markets simultaneously, there are many factors to consider, and the world marketplace is ever-changing.

What is the most valuable lesson you have learned?

In 2023, LMS was fortunate to be named as a recipient of a King’s Award for Enterprise in the field of international trade. Whilst humbled and honoured to receive this accolade, one of the most important aspects of the process was the opportunity the entry process brought about for self-reflection.

As part of this introspection, LMS set about looking at customer relationships in a holistic way but also sought to drill down to the “why” factor in as many areas as possible. The result was a root and branch review of processes and procedures which has seen a significant raising of the bar when it comes to customer services. That was rewarded again in April this year when we won the customer first category of the Northern Star Business Awards.

Where do you find yourself most at ease?

I enjoy travelling with my wife, going to and exploring new places.

If you weren’t in your current role, what job would you most fancy?

I’d love to be a Formula 1 team boss (for any team). Their attention to detail and focus on small margins is something I really admire.

What phrase or quotation has inspired you the most?

My Dad said: “Never venture, never gain.” He was in the fire service for 35 years, latterly as a station officer, then he and my mum ran a hotel together. My parents taught me a lot about leadership and people management.

What is the best book you have ever read? Why is it the best?

Alex Ferguson’s autobiography inspired me because of all the stories and examples of the drive for success and people management.

What has been your most challenging moment in life or business?

Dealing with the deaths of my father and my brother-in-law at the same time and having to make arrangements whilst trying to stay strong and supportive for those around me was undoubtedly the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. From a business perspective, the Covid pandemic was the biggest challenge we have faced at LMS.

What do you now know that you wish you had known when starting out in your career?

I wish I’d known the benefit of making early decisions about people. It’s important to establish quickly who wants to be part of the team and to deal with any potential negative forces that might impact the overall drive of the business.