by Gordon Weiler
Daman’s Roots in Distribution (since 1976)
From the founding of Daman Products in 1976, fluid power distributors have been the cornerstone for all of our strategic growth strategies. Founder, Jack Davis, grew up in fluid power distribution working for the Neff Engineering Company in the Midwest. At the time, the primary source for machined manifolds was through machine shops that had little to no knowledge about fluid power markets or valve manufacturers that didn’t acknowledge manifolds as a significant component in fluid power systems.
When Jack started Daman Products, his main mission was to help fluid power distributors grow their business by providing quality hydraulic valve manifolds. With this model, we became the first company devoted to machined hydraulic bar manifolds, and focused exclusively on supporting fluid power distributors.
Daman’s Focus on Distribution
Over the last four decades, Daman has evolved into a $25 million company. With a strong customer base of 500 fluid power distributors across North America, we have become the leader in Standard Manifold production and Custom Manifold expertise.
While we have achieved outstanding success with our traditional standard product lines, we determined within the past decade that to grow our business, we had to diversify our product offerings. In addition to our standard bar manifolds, we have more aggressively expanded our offering of custom-engineered manifold solutions, something that our key distributors have repetitively challenged us to provide based on our inventory management competency.
To balance our capacity while becoming a world-class leader in Custom Manifolds, we refined our distributor focus to identify key distributor partners with high demand for custom fluid power solutions. This enabled us to streamline our processes and more proactively provide custom solutions. We’ve done this while continuing to serve the remainder of our distributor customers with the same level of service they are accustomed to receiving.
As always, any direct requests for quotations from OEM’s continue to be redirected to our fluid power distributor network.
Daman’s Future with Distributors (2019 and beyond)
To more aggressively grow in Custom Manifold solutions, we have identified distributors who have the greatest demand and need for our quick turnaround custom design and manufacturing services. As we focus on increasing custom volume with a smaller number of distributors, we have placed regionally-focused account managers in each of our four territories to build deeper relationships, identify opportunities and threats, and better communicate Daman’s core offerings to distributors. With this newly-implemented regional custom focus, we are now able to offer greater value to key distributors and provide our collective teams with valuable customer and market intel.
As this strategy was put into practice, we also learned that some of our key distributors were struggling with lead times for assembled and tested manifold assemblies. We have recently started to expand our services to develop corporate relationships with valve and component manufacturers in order to facilitate the speed-to-market needs of our distributor base. By providing integrated manifold and valve solutions, our distributors can now order one part number from Daman and receive machined custom manifolds that have been sourced, assembled, leak-tested, and directly drop-shipped from Daman’s facility. All of this is made possible by Daman’s intense dedication to our distributors, which stands in stark contrast to our competitors who sell directly to end-users and OEM’s. These integrated solutions, combined with Daman's gold-standard processes in customer service, quality, and delivery, provide distributors a turnkey solution that is unassailable.
As this new, focused custom and integrated manifold strategy has rolled out, we have streamlined our processes and technology solutions to better serve the remainder of our distributors purchasing a vast and growing array of Standard Manifold products and Custom Manifold design and manufacturing services, including the following:
DamanWorks for online access to all standard design files
Continued 24-hour shipment of most standard catalog products
FlexMount standard manifolds for D03 and D05 vertical, through-bolt and tank mounting solutions
Stainless steel standard product offerings
Surface coatings including electroless nickel, clear and black anodize
The Trigger System for 24-hour shipment of repeat, custom manifolds
Expedited delivery of custom manifold solutions
Daman’s Ongoing Commitment to Distribution
From the past to present, what sets Daman apart is our strong alliance with and dedication to our distributors. Routinely, we are applauded when we have the opportunity to direct OEMs to distributors when they look to directly purchase from Daman. Never have we drifted from Jack Davis’s original vision to support distributors. This vision has given us an edge in the market without needing or wanting to compete with distributors by selling direct to OEMs.
As we continue to implement new technologies and products, we will work with distributors to deepen our understanding of their needs and the challenges they face. This knowledge and commitment informs our business model while helping our distributor partners proactively meet our distributors’ OEM customer needs.
We look forward to many more years of continued success in developing innovative methods of service, design and manufacturing to best facilitate our distributor needs. Contact Daman today about your latest project.