Connecting Jamaica during COVID-19

Connecting Jamaica during COVID-19

Konnexx continues as the leader in telecoms engineering service despite COVID-19 effects

BY KELLARAY MILES
Business reporter
milesk@jamaicaobserver.com

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

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Providers of telecommunications engineering services, Konnexx Services Limited has been able to positively maintain its operations despite increased expenditure due to the onset of the coronavirus in the country.

Dean Nevers, chief executive officer (CEO) of the company, speaking at a recent Business Observer Forum, said that the company did not see a major fall-off in business activities largely due to the fact that they provide an essential service. However, Nevers stated that Konnexx's operating costs have increased by some 15-20 per cent.

“Since the pandemic, our cost immediately went up because we now have to be cleaning the vehicles more often, providing products to keep staff sanitised along with making investment in different things to ensure that the workspace is safe,” he said.

“To offset that— what we had to do was look internally at how we were operating as a company and find ways to cut costs in other areas to counter-balance the new expenses. We also had to look at ingenious ways to reduce costs including our energy footprint and also ensure that our solar services were optimal and efficient. Further, at Konnexx we have had to reduce fuel cost and overall maintenance cost,” he added.

Nevers said that like many other companies, he also had to implement and facilitate work-from-home arrangements for some staff members, especially those providing administrative and customer service support to reduce the risk factor.

“The management team had to make a decision to have team members work from home. For the technical team staffers were zoned and dispatched from their respective geographic locations.”

“With the devaluation of the US dollar, importing some raw material/tools to get the job done also [increased] costs, resulting in reduced profit margins, which also had the potential to affect the business to the point where cost savings had to be considered,” he further said, noting that this, however, did not significantly affected the viability of his business.

The technological engineering solution company, which currently is the primary service provider for Digicel, has been in operations for over 15 years and has been providing a raft of other services including solar engineering, equipment rental, smart building and irrigation solutions.

Starting out with two workers and one service vehicle, the company has seen tremendous growth which now puts it in a position to significantly expand its fleet and manpower. Now operating from six other Caribbean countries, namely Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Island, Dominica, Nevis and Turks and Caicos, through a network of over 400 staff, this unsung company has proven to be an industry leader.

The CEO, in expressing the possibility to further exploit new opportunities in other markets such as Central America, said that the aim of such a move is not only about expanding one's footprint, but more about providing quality essential service to that region.

“It's a part of the forecast planning in terms of putting things in place. We like to invest in areas that will benefit us as a country on a whole. So far, all of the islands that we have touched, in terms of the telecoms facilities— they are doing well,” he said.


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