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Pinnacle Manufacturing reaping benefits of business in MH

Owner says establishing company in Morgan Hill has been very positive

Published in the August 6 – 19, 2014 issue of Morgan Hill Life

By Robert Airoldi

Photo by Marty Cheek Pinnacle Manufacturing worker Esperanza Tello works on a chassis in the company’s sheet metal factory.

Photo by Marty Cheek
Pinnacle Manufacturing worker Esperanza Tello works on a chassis in the company’s sheet metal factory.

Six years ago, Dave Brinton was looking for a new location for his sheet metal business. He and his partner hired a real estate agent who showed them many buildings in San Jose, none of which fit the company’s needs. Either they were located in an undesirable location or they were too expensive.

But when that agent asked if they might be interested in moving south to Morgan Hill, things changed. In a big way.

Now Pinnacle Manufacturing, which once employed about 35 workers in less than 10,000 square feet, has about 80 employees in an 85,000-square-foot building on Butterfield Boulevard.

“There were a lot of things we had to take into consideration when we moved here but it was a great opportunity and great facility and way beyond anything that we ever expected to be in as far as quality of the facility and location to downtown Morgan Hill,” said co-owner Brinton. “It was a pretty easy decision.”

Pinnacle Manufacturing Corporation is a precision sheet metal manufacturer that serves primarily the medical industries but pretty much every industry in Silicon Valley as well as industries throughout the United States and outside the U.S. and everything they make is custom made to the customer’s specifications. They’ve been in business 12 years and have grown steadily over that time.

“It’s been a nice run and growth rates tend to be in the 15 percent range pretty consistently,” Brinton said.

In deciding where to move their facility, Brinton said they looked at a lot of factors before they moved and one of those was the commute.

How was it going to effect their overall commute as a company, how many employees were going to be put out by moving to Morgan Hill and how many would benefit.

“It was almost overwhelming the number that would benefit,” he said. “I consider Morgan Hill almost central to most of the employees in our company. We have some in south San Jose a number in Gilroy, Hollister, even out as far out Dos Palos and Los Banos. So a lot of those employees commute got shortened significantly.”

His business partner lives in Saratoga and his commute, even though it was longer in terms of distance, was significantly less because it’s a reverse commute.

“We did consider logistics because a lot of our suppliers are in Silicon Valley,” Brinton said. “But we’re up there every day. It only adds a little bit to our drive time as far as pickups and deliveries but the advantages are huge.”

He said employees have taken advantage of the housing opportunities here and quite a few moved to Gilroy.

“Even if they want to live in Los Banos or Dos Palos, they’re not having to drive up into Silicon Valley which is a really tough commute,” he said. “So if they want to buy in those areas they at least have a minimal commute compared to what it would be if we were in north San Jose or Sunnyvale.”

After they made the decision to move to Morgan Hill, Brinton said the city pulled out all the stops.

“We found they were willing to bend over backward and assigned us a single point of contact,” Brinton said. “They did everything they possibly could to roll out the red carpet for us. I even met the mayor before we even moved in. In San Jose nobody knew who we were even though we were there for seven years. Before we even moved to Morgan Hill everybody in the city knew us.”

And, Brinton said he thinks the business environment in Morgan Hill is only growing with more and more opportunities to do business locally.

“We have a number of customers and suppliers now in Morgan Hill,” he said. “It’s nice to work within a community of businesses to see that synergy happening.”

But the frosting on the cake was realizing how less stressful it was not having to work in Silicon Valley.

“I like to think of being in Morgan Hill as having all the advantages of being in Silicon Valley without being in the Silicon Valley,” he said. “To me that is the No. 1 advantage. We are a Silicon Valley company that doesn’t have to deal with the rat race of Silicon Valley. This is a different world here; you can work hard without feeling the stress while you work hard. Up there, it’s stressful.”