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The Maintenance Management Blog

December 20, 2016

How a CMMS Could Have Changed Star Wars

CMMS & Star Wars

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…

If you’re like us here at Mapcon, you’re excited for the upcoming release of "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" in just a few short days. As the release date draws closer and closer, we couldn't help but wonder: how would the implementation of a Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) have changed the previous films? I truly believe that both the Rebels and the Empire could have benefited greatly by simply using a CMMS.

Inventory Management

Proper inventory management is an important part of any company. It can help companies save money because it is definitely less expensive to actually track inventory and know exactly where it is than to order new things. Just think of the inventory on the Death Star alone! They have ships, weapons, army droids, and many, many other items which should be tracked. If the Empire had kept track of how many ships they had on the Death Star, they would have noticed right away when one of them was stolen. In "Return of the Jedi", the Rebels steal one of the Empire’s shuttles which they will use to destroy the shield generator on the second Death Star. The shuttle contains the Empire shields and codes, without which the shield generator could not be destroyed. If the Empire had a CMMS in place to track their inventory, they would have noticed right away that one of their shuttles was missing, and they could have launched a counter-attack, thus changing the entire film.

The Rebels could have also benefited from a good inventory management system. When they are in the Millennium Falcon in The Empire Strikes Back, they try to go into hyperspace but fail. Then C3PO says that the motivator is broken, making it impossible for them to go at light speed and escape the enemy ships. Correctly maintaining their inventory and making any necessary repairs before taking off could have definitely prevented this disaster from happening. In addition, had the Rebels managed their inventory correctly, they would have had more weapons at their disposal and would have had an even better chance at fighting off the Empire. MAPCON allows users to set Reorder Points (ROP), which sends a notification or automatically reorders parts when the minimum number is reached. Had the Rebels been using MAPCON, they probably would not have run out of weapons or ammunition.

Preventive Maintenance

Preventive maintenance is a crucial part of any operation. Regular maintenance can be a huge money and time saver, and it also can prevent downtime. Darth Vader and the Stormtroopers should have used a CMMS to regularly complete preventive maintenance tasks on their shields. Had that been done, the shields would not have failed so easily, and perhaps the Death Star would not have been destroyed. The Rebels could have used a CMMS for their ship in a similar way.

A Mobile CMMS

Both the Empire and The Rebels obviously should have had a good CMMS to help them along the way. But it would have been even more helpful if they had a mobile one. Imagine how easy it would have been for Han Solo to create a work request from his mobile device as soon as he realized they were unable to travel to hyperspace. The technicians would have seen the request and been able to order any necessary parts and been ready to complete the repairs just as soon as the Millennium Falcon returned. Additionally, Luke and Leia could have put in a purchase order for more weaponry as soon as they realized they didn’t have everything they needed. Who knows – the vendor may have even been able to deliver the needed assets to them in space!

When the shields on the Death Star were compromised, a Stormtrooper could have created a work request immediately after it happened, to get the repairs started right away.

Don’t get me wrong – all of us at Mapcon have a very deep love for Star Wars. We just couldn't help but think about how many issues would have been avoided if both sides simply had a working CMMS to assist them.


Lisa Richards

About the Author – Lisa Richards

Lisa Richards is an experienced professional in the field of industrial management and is an avid blogger about maintenance management systems and productivity innovation. Richards' undergraduate degree in Industrial Engineering opened the door for her initial career path with a Midwest-based agricultural implement manufacturer with global market reach. Over a span of 10 years, Lisa worked her way through various staff leadership positions in the manufacturing process until reaching the operations manager level at a construction and forestry equipment facility. Lisa excelled at increasing productivity while maintaining or lowering operating budgets for her plant sites.

An Illinois native, Lisa recently returned to her suburban Chicago North Shore hometown to raise her family. Lisa has chosen to be active in her community and schools while her two young girls begin their own journey through life. Richards has now joined the MAPCON team as an educational outreach writer in support of their efforts to inform maintenance management specialists about the advantages in marrying advanced maintenance software with cutting-edge facility and industrial management strategies.

Filed under: cmms, star wars — Lisa Richards on December 20, 2016