The Chain Link Fence Manufacturers Institute (CLFMI) was started in 1960 by a group of small manufacturing firms who wanted to be able to compete effectively with the larger, integrated steel companies which dominated the market after World War II. As these steel companies gradually left the chain link fence business to concentrate on larger markets (consumer products, automobiles, etc.,) the CLFMI member firms became more dominant in the marketplace. They soon realized that the future of their market depended upon their ability to create consumer confidence in the product and to market chain link as not only the most economical fencing product but also as one that provided quality workmanship and safety.
The CLFMI members realized that industries which do not provide the consumer some level of self-regulation and standard-setting are industries destined to be regulated and monitored by government mandates and oversight.
Over the years, manufacturers have joined together through CLFMI to raise demand for their products, and to help manufacturers become more profitable, in several ways.