Operational Excellence with Technology


This article is an extension of my last article, “Going Paperless.”

Almost 30 years ago my software company bought the assets of another software company. When the deal was done we flew to Southern California, went to a storage unit and packed up the “stuff” into a rental truck.

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Going Paperless

I am an information junkie. Actually I’m an information hoarder, which is probably an obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD). There’s probably a twelve step program for people like me.

My problem is I’ll read something and think “that information might be useful someday,” so I save it. Sometimes it is useful. Sometimes not. The problem is which is which is virtually impossible to predict.

What does this have to do with going paperless?

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Spring Cleaning (Summer, Fall and Winter Too)

I had another desktop in my office fail this summer. I’m not sure it’s down for the count, since the RAM and hard drive both test out fine, yet it randomly reboots. Since it is just one of four desktops I use with a keyboard/video switch, it isn’t totally critical, so I moved the two printers attached to it onto another computer, moved QuickBooks onto yet another and will come back to it when I have more time.

I suspect the problem might be something thermal since the problems are more pronounced later in the day when it is hotter.

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Who Owns Your Website?

I’ve met a lot of small business owners over the years who are being held hostage by their web developers.

Before you become one of them, or even if you are a hostage now, you can do certain things to make sure that you aren’t unwillingly at the mercy of your web developer. And like the recent CarFax ad’s, if your web developer isn’t willing to set your website up this way, question whether you have a reputable web developer.

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Build Your Next Website Using a CMS

When you build your next website, I would suggest using a CMS also known as a Content Management System.

To paraphrase the movie 'The Graduate':

Mr. McGuire: I want to say one word to you. Just one word.

Benjamin: Yes, sir.

Mr. McGuire: Are you listening?

Benjamin: Yes, I am.

Mr. McGuire: Plastics.CMS, as in Content Management System.

For most website owners a CMS is the future—unless you want to continue paying your web developer every time you want a change on your website.

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Time to Update Your Website?

Is your website starting to look “so last century?”

When was the last time you posted new content on your website?

Does it have a date last updated on the bottom that says you have ignored it since 2007? Or longer?

Even if you aren’t or, your customers and potential customers are probably finding you more often by Googling you than looking you up in a phone book, if they still have phone books. Try looking your business up on Google, Bing and/or Yahoo. Does it appear in the first page of results?

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The Cloud in My Basement

I have written several times about backing up (Tech Bits 1 and 39)). If you aren’t backing up your data and/or whole computer regularly, shame on you. You are a disaster waiting to happen.

Even if you are backing up regularly, make sure your backups are working. A good friend was surprised to find when her Mac notebook crashed the automatic backups on her Timeline system had mysteriously stopped a couple of months earlier—without any warning or notice!

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My Ideal Notebook Would Be a Slate

I’ve been thinking about what my ideal portable computer would look like since attending the Defrag 2009 conference last fall. I was sitting in a session I couldn’t engage in, looking at all the open computers around me. There were PC’s, Mac’s, and tablets, large and small. None seemed quite right.

I loved the tablet I had a couple of years ago, but it was thick and heavy with limited battery life.

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Save a Tree, Read an eBook

There were over 100 eBook readers on display at CES. They were one of the "hot" trends at the show; they even had their own pavilion (a cluster of booths with related products).

Probably the most famous eBook reader is Amazon's Kindle, although it wasn't the first. I have a Sony reader that predates the Kindle. Kindle's distinction was its ability to download books anywhere.

Quite a few of the readers I saw at CES have wireless content downloading, many from competing Barnes and Noble.

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Is Your Computer Bland?

If your notebook isn’t helping advertise for your company, you are missing a low cost opportunity.

When I got my netbook last year, I read a lot of reviews. Most reviewers mentioned if the netbook case showed fingerprints. I didn’t realize why until I upgraded last year to a thin and light notebook. It is a fingerprint magnet.

I also don’t understand why one color case should cost any more than any other color, yet most netbook/notebooks have case options that cost anywhere from $25 to $300 more.

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