By Margaret Jackson | Apr 12, 2023
Chain link fencing
While Brenton was operating a landscaping business, a customer asked him to build a chain link fence for a project.
Brenton didn't know how, so he got on YouTube and quickly figured it out. That single request multiplied, and soon Brenton was building fences for many of his customers.
"I was buying so much and traveling, and I was starting to learn that in the Southern U.S., the chain link fabric was cheaper than up north," Brenton says.
He learned about Bergandi weaving machines that are made in California, so he took a trip to check them out and ultimately ended up buying one to start Brenton Manufacturing & Supply with his wife, Sarah Brenton, in 2019.
The company, which does not handle installation of fences, supplies industrial-strength fencing to such high-security projects as prisons, solar farms, oil fields, and zoos.
Brenton says the mission is to bring affordable quality fencing materials to the Rocky Mountain region while providing the best customer services and on-time deliveries. "Today, I have six weaving machines and an extruding line so we can coat wire," he says. "I also bought a routing machine so we can do vinyl fencing."
He recently spent $5 million to install a galvanizing line, an investment he expects will take two years to recoup. "We're the only galvanizing line within about 1,500 miles," says Brenton, noting that he's already made back the $3 million he invested in the company's weaving operations.
Made from woven steel wire that creates a diamond-shaped pattern, chain link fences have been a popular choice for securing properties for more than a century. They're durable, cost-effective and easy to install, making them a great option for a variety of applications.
It's a steady, oft-underserved market: The global fencing market was valued at $27.88 billion in 2021 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 5.5 percent from 2022 to 2030, according to a market analysis by Grand View Research.
"For our customers, it's important that the fencing products they buy are made in the U.S., and the company accommodates that request," says Brenton. "And because the Buy American Act requires federal agencies to procure domestic materials and products, Brenton is well-positioned to serve them."
Challenges: Getting the word out about the company's services is the biggest challenge Brenton faces. The company is the most well-known in Western states, including Utah, Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho, as well as Illinois.
Opportunities: Brenton sees diversifying its product line as a way that he could expand the company. In addition to chain link fencing, Brenton can manufacture garage door springs and tire wires. "We don't want to have all our eggs in one basket," Brenton says.
"We're really big on USA-made products -- that's all we carry," he adds. "Finding fully domestic products is a big request for us."
Needs: Funding and talent are always in demand at Brenton Manufacturing. "Finding employees is difficult right now for us," Brenton says.