Winning 2014 Partner of the Year Award was Nederman LLC, a manufacturer of dust collectors and other air filtration equipment. Presented by the Woodworking Machinery Industry Association (WMIA) distributor members, the award recognizes a manufacturer or importer that best exemplifies the spirit of partnership with distributors in key support areas such as sales, service and parts, marketing support and training.

Nederman was nominated by a distributors committee made up of Ian Strouse of Hermance Machine Co., Scott Mueller of E.B. Mueller Co. and John B. Henderson of John Henderson & Co.

Customer service is key to the success of any company, and Nederman president Tom Ballus credits some of the company’s success to its long-term relationships with distributors. However, Ballus adds, Nederman still must earn the distributor’s business on every single job. “One job doesn’t make us, but it can certainly break us,” Ballus says. “Every job is individual. We don’t have 1,000 distributors working with us in woodworking, we have less than 100 and they come back over and over and over again. We’ve gotten to know them through the years.”

Nederman works with the distributors on several different levels, ranging from smaller systems to complete turnkey solutions. For some of the smaller or “box” filter and dust collector orders, the distributor may choose to use its own crew for installation of the ducting and dust control system. But as systems get larger, or as woodworking distributors get more specialized, they may not want to handle the dust collection.

“When that happens, they call us and we can go in and offer a turnkey solution to make sure that their products are up and running completely,” Ballus says.

“We understand that distributors are out there to sell their machinery, and our equipment makes sure that it runs better. We know where we are in the pecking order of the sale. We’re there to support the distributors, because without the distributor there is no dust collection.”

Nederman’s Thomasville, NC, location serves customers throughout North America. Nederman LLC also has offices in Canada and Mexico, as well as Detroit, MI and Pittsburgh, PA.

Headquartered in Sweden and founded in 1944 by Philip Nederman, the company purchased Dantherm Filtration in 2010. Nederman also recently purchased North Carolina-based sub-brands Mikropul and Pneumafil, both part of the company EFT.

“Here in the Americas, we’ve been extremely aggressive in acquisition growth,” says Ballus, who came to Nederman in the acquisition of Dantherm.

“Dantherm was always very involved in woodworking. As Nederman acquired us we got broader based because Nederman is in a lot of different industries. But woodworking is still a very large percentage of our sales — it’s where many of the employees here cut their teeth,” he adds.

In addition to serving its customer base, Nederman actively promotes the advancement of the woodworking industry, including participation in trade shows and in its long-time commitment to the WMIA. “I’ve been with the company [Dantherm/Nederman] 18 years and we’ve been involved with the WMIA at least as long as I have been here,” Ballus says.

“We consider ourselves a part of the industry. We’ve stuck with it through the good years and the bad years,” he adds.

Nederman is extremely bullish on woodworking in North America. Ballus says the company is confident that the next few years are going to be very good in the woodworking industry.

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