Last week I received a very pleasant phone call from Toni my car mechanic; he is a really good guy who keeps close ties with all his loyal clients. He wanted to remind me that I should bring my car in soon so he could perform its routine, "periodic maintenance.” Toni explained that this ensures that my car is not under-performing or that critical parts are at risk, especially with its relatively high mileage. And because he is someone who has earned my trust, I appreciated that call.
Similar to Toni’s advice, we at Epicor suggest several procedures be done periodically to ensure that the application is always performing at the expected level, particularly as the database gets bigger. Some procedures are done more frequently than others depending on the necessity of the related tasks and time required.
On a weekly basis we highly recommend taking a closer look at the Process Watcher because, as the name suggests, it monitors all the processes that took place or are taking place in the application. Finished but non-permanent processes can be safely deleted from the process watcher, while aborted and suspended processes should be further investigated before attempting to delete them.
Failure to clear or resolve these processes correctly can create performance issues. For example, if you ever notice that your Create List or Database Analysis report is taking forever to initiate or finish, one of the possible reasons might be that a long list of aborted processes is stuck in the process queues. Similarly, finished but undeleted promotions can impair CRM’s ability to post transactions; it can take a long time to check if the transaction matches an active promotion. Terminating a finished promotion does not mean that the promotion is deleted; all lists, statistics, results and reports attached to this promotion are retained in the system.
Less frequently (e.g. quarterly), lists that are no longer needed should also be deleted, as these take up precious space in the database and make fetching data slower. As an added value, you won’t be confronted with an overwhelming number of lists every time you open List Maintenance. It’s just like cleaning your personal email inbox every now and then to make it more visually appealing and easy to use.
Some annual procedures can also be performed to keep your system in top shape. These include purging inactive customer records and transactions older than “x” number of years. In addition to taking up space in the database, these inactive customers count against the license level. Not all clients are comfortable purging data so before permanently deleting them, it might be a good idea to export these data and archive them. Many details and rules go into deleting customers, so a detailed analysis of customer rate of retention and shopping frequencies usually takes place before deciding on the “who, when and how” for handling inactive customers and old transactions.
All the above procedures are examples of simple yet very effective things that can significantly improve processing times and make your system run faster and more efficiently. A final word of caution though: it's very important to be careful during all these cleaning steps to make sure permanent and valuable processes and data is retained.
I trust Toni, he is a good guy who really cares about his clients and their cars. We at Epicor care a lot about our clients and are inspired by your businesses...
Watch for our next blog, “Essential CRM Add-Ons”