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Do a little bit of maintenance

Have you ever noticed that from time to time some really big jobs crop up? They take an inordinate amount of time and you wonder where they come from. A common reason is that small bits of maintenance don't get performed, over time this issue compounds until one day something crashes to a halt. Finding the small regular maintenance activities can pay off in the long run if they are incorporated into a daily or weekly routine of some kind.

Data bases and computer systems that are used to manage the day to day activities in your business are a great place to perform small chunks of maintenance. If your data becomes obsolete or can't be used to make decisions then it will be bypassed. If you continue along this path you may end up creating a sub-system of working rather than resolving the original problem. Keep your data bases and computer based systems (including the storage of files) organised and current through small acts of maintenance (and computer housekeeping!).

When you apply the idea of small maintenance tasks to your business processes you find ways in which you can improve how your business operates. Working out which bits of the process do not work properly and correcting them is a really good use of maintenance time. In other words - maintenance can lead to continuous improvement. By working out why the mistakes happen, and tweaking the processes to correct these mistakes, you will have a better system to work with.

Paper based filing systems can benefit from small maintenance tasks also. If you look around your office and see mounds of paperwork, how do you feel? Keeping on top of the paperwork, in trays and files that you store through maintenance tasks can make you feel a lot better and clearer about what you need to do. Moreover, you can save time by not having to wade through documents to find what you need.

Small chunks of maintenance can give your business some great results. If you haven't already started why don't you have a look at your business and identify some of the maintenance tasks that will prevent you getting the big 'show stopper' problems that businesses periodically encounter?

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