KY Start-up Transmission Builds Out Industrial Workplace Communications Solution Via Pair Of Acquisitions

May 26, 2023 by Dave Haynes

A start-up called Transmission has announced a pair of acquisitions that are foundational components of an on-premise communications solution aimed at  industrial workplaces.

Transmission has acquired LobbyFox, a visitor management software company and Industrial Communications, the digital signage software division of Eyeconic.TV. The deal terms and amounts were not disclosed. The acquisition includes the entire LobbyFox integrated software suite, its assets and its team, and the digital signage, HMI application software, and proprietary hardware of Eyeconic.

I don’t really have background on any of these companies, except for Eyeconic being related to Enlightened, which focuses on digital messaging for cannabis retailing. This kinda seems like already related companies getting more related, as all of them are in Bowling Green, KY, which has a population of roughly 75,000.

Says PR on the M&A:

LobbyFox was founded in 2019 to support safety and communication by automating the orientation and compliance requirements for contractors, temp workers, etc., at manufacturing facilities. LobbyFox operates in thousands of facilities, ensuring that all non-employees onsite have proper safety orientations and expectations, identification, certification, compliance and legal documents on file.

Industrial Communications creates employee-facing custom content displayed on digital signage and accessible via tablets inside factories. Industrial Communications has hundreds of clients across six countries.

“Manufacturing is the lifeblood of the American economy and a source of many essential jobs for our people. The dynamics of work inside the manufacturing industry present unique communication challenges for this largely deskless workforce,” said Jeff Fiala, CEO of Transmission.”The statistics are undeniable- manufacturing is facing record-high employee turnover rates and exorbitant safety incident costs, which are hampering productivity in an industry that is already facing margin pressure. With 75% of the manufacturing workforce being characterized as unengaged, there is a tremendous opportunity for us to support our customers and their employee retention and safety goals.”   

The company’s mission is to support employee engagement in manufacturing by driving communication across channels and through content to build safer factories and reduce turnover. Transmission saw an opportunity to take factories’ existing employee safety and development initiatives and amplify those efforts to drive greater employee relations. By merging these powerful technology products, Transmission has built a robust communication platform that engages all site occupants with relevant information and a full feedback loop across multiple channels. The current clients of both companies will enjoy access to a wider range of tools and functionality to support their facility operations while maintaining the same superior customer experience.

I’ve been waiting to come across a company focused on digital signage and interactive capabilities specifically for so-called blue collar environments. A LOT of focus among digital signage companies has been placed on corporate communications in recent years, but almost all of it on office environments. That’s helpful and valid, but there are arguably greater challenges and needs in manufacturing and warehouse environments (and health care!).

As Fiala notes, screens can play a huge role in communicating everything from mandatory labor notices to workplace safety messaging and alerts to a workforce that doesn’t work at a desk, have a company email or mail slot.

This deal looks like a logical way to offer a solution stack to workplaces that is more integrated and seamless, and not just about screens out on the factory floor and in break rooms. The LobbyFox piece of this means that screens are starting to engage and work with staff before they get into the areas that might need hard hats and high visibility gear.

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