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How KTL is taking on problems plaguing telecoms

Like every industry, the telecom sector faces its own set of challenges.

These range from inadequate documentation and handovers to a lack of investment in employee training. Additionally, the fast-paced nature of the sector amplifies mistakes, leading to increased costs and deployment delays.

However, despite these challenges, ensuring the health and safety of our workforce remains our top priority. Our goal is for all employees to return home safely every day.

KTL CAD Manager, Dylan van Belkum has been working in the industry for more than 15 years, watching how it has evolved and observing which areas still need to. He speaks here about how KTL is addressing long-standing problems within telecoms.

Industry bad habits

Telecoms has always been known to lag behind other industries. Breaking away and trying to wash out bad habits has been extremely difficult and frustrating at times, but the results have been worth the effort.

We’re now constantly reviewing how we work, considering how we can adapt within our designs, and improving communication, so we have maximum oversight without maximum spending.

The firefighters

The drive of these changes began with the inception of the “Leadership Team”, which consists of key staff members – let’s just label them ‘fire fighters’ - who are constantly bringing new ideas to the table. Some ideas work and others don’t, but overall we have found that training, communication and setting up clear processes is helping us evolve.

We have some exciting new changes coming up that will help in providing even clearer information. Handover information for our engineers, electrical and structural, is crucial for ensuring they can do their jobs as effectively and as accurately as possible. I’m sure all engineers will agree with this statement: “There is no such thing as too much information.”

Data Management

From an operator level, we have seen a push on how information is tracked and documented. This is a positive move for the industry as it will help wash out all the poorly documented sites of the past.

For KTL, we’re proud to be aligned with this change. KTL Netsuite has been helping our design team do the same task since it was introduced in 2020, and we’ve had some great results. Examples: we now work from one true source of information; automation means less room for errors; the overall data is cleaner and faster to track.

Having information available within seconds is the future, but maintaining and ensuring that information is always up to date does present its own challenges. I don’t see development in this space slowing down any time soon.


Training is not an area telecoms is traditionally known to invest in. Rather, it’s generally been an industry where people learnt by trial and error.

It’s great to be able to say that this is not the case at KTL. We have staff within our design team who have been going on, or will be going on, various training courses aimed at expanding their knowledge, and therefore the knowledge of the team as a whole. Knowledge Transfer or job mirroring is another way to develop the team and ensure that larger numbers of team members can perform multiple activities at any given time.

Doing so has helped individuals to grow into new positions, and has educated us further in how we work and create designs.

Small changes going a long way

The issues we’ve chipping away at and the changes we’ve made may seem minor, but the overall impact has been significant.

Every new process or idea brought forward so far has not only improved our basic measurements of success, volume, and quality of design but ultimately has the potential to reinvent the way we design and the industry as a whole. Collaboration in this way in the post pandemic world is vital and ensures everyone really feels valued in the team and has a positive impact on moral.


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