How often do you change the oil in your car?

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As an Act! Certified Consultant and Premier Trainer, Louise Wiedermann helps her customers create a system to build relationships with customer and prospects, track sales activities and forecast opportunities. Through implementation, customization, training and support, she helps her customers get organized, save time and become more profitable. For more about Louise, please visit Project Technology Consulting.

Every six months? Or every 5,000 miles/8,000 km? We all do this because we know the value of preventative maintenance. A little time, attention, and investment is worth the reduced risk a future inconvenient and expensive failure could bring.

The same concept applies to your Act! database. It too needs to be maintained in order to run smoothly and without problems or disruption. Below are tips for keeping your database “well-oiled.”

1. Change your oil and check your filters. Run Act! database maintenance on a regular schedule. The tool to do this can be found under the >Tools menu, >Database Maintenance, then >Check and Repair. You will see there are two choices; Integrity Check, and Re-index. For best results, choose to do both.

2. Schedule future oil changes and filter checks. Supplement to #1--use the Act! Scheduler (found under the Tools menu) to set-up a task to perform maintenance automatically. If you work in a shared database, this set-up would need to take place on the server computer where the master database is housed. If you use the web version of Act!, then your server support team or hosting provider should be doing this for you.

3. Clear the junk out. Watch for blank contact records. This may happen with new users who accidentally create blank contacts. Delete them to keep your database clear of debris.

4. Vacuum. Clean up ‘dead wood’ in the database. Get rid of contacts who are no longer needed. You should have criteria in place as to what ‘no longer needed’ means to you or your company.

5. Get organized. Check for duplicate contacts. If you find duplicates, use the Scan for Duplicates under the Tools menu to assist in the merging of the duplicate contacts.

If you do these things, you’ll be off to a good start with keeping your database running well.

Be sure and watch for our next blog post, when we’ll go “under the hood” with more suggestions!