Friday, November 30, 2012

Modularizing Production and Industry Part I

This is an introductory post to a small series of posts for industrialists. It is aimed at more experienced players, so I will not explain what a BPO is or how to get them, and also not venture into the basics of production. It will try to show you how to modularize your processes into easily manageable parts, allowing you to upscale your operations vertically and horizontally. So, let's get to it!

Producing Items from others is one of the key factors driving the economy in EVE, be it by refining Ores, building Ammo, Weapons, Ships up to the production of Capitals and Supercapitals.

When you begin your work towards becoming an Industrialist, I strongly advise you modularize your processes. This has a couple of advantages:

1) You can outsource your defined modules.
2) It is easy to upgrade them separate from each other.
3) You are able to identify and parallelize bottle necks.
4) Within a growing group of friends, each individual can specialize in a distinct part of the production process.
5) It becomes easier to keep the books straight, especially when more than one person is involved.
6) You can add "rewards" for completing specific modules, making it possible to share your profits depending on who completed which module.

In future posts, I will explain these modules with 4 examples:
1) Tech 2 Items: This is essentially the same as Tech 1 Items, but also explains the Invention part.
2) Capital Ships: These explain the process of building normal Tech 1 ships as well, but adds to it the need for component blueprints.
3) Jump Freighters. Tech 2 Ships that combine a lot of things in the above two processes.
4) T3 Ships. A bit more complex than T2, and with a couple of twists.

Now, here is a list of generic modules that are required in production of items, be they T1, T2 or even T3. Some can be skipped for some production types, but overall you will have to think about them one way or the other. I'll only scratch the surface in explaining them, there will be more detailed posts about each module. My advice is to plan the entire production process from scratch, and then swap different modules in and out based on your efficiency.

1) Making a plan.
Having a plan is a smart thing, but production plans in EVE can get extremely complex for Items further down the line. Basic Ammo requires only little ISK, Skills and has only a few steps, whereas Tech2 and Tech3 production requires specialized equipment, tons of ISK and Skills. So plan ahead your supply lines, time frames and eventualities that may arise, and of course the skills required. The next post in this series will cover how to make a complete plan and factor in costs in a manufacturing process.

2) Running the numbers.
Now that you have a plan, check it again. There are a lot of costs involved in producing an item from start to end. This is where you decide which modules to swap out from doing them yourself to others. This mostly refers to buying BPCs instead of BPOs or purchasing intermediate items instead of constructing them yourself.

3) Acquire skills.
Time to start acquiring skills for your production needs.

4) Find a production site.
Depending on what you are building, this can be easy or very, very hard, especially when you are researching yourself or building ships that require NullSec space.

5) Get finances in order.
You should be aware that by this time you should start getting the ISK you need for your plan, if it is locked in some other fashion.

6) Set up your production site.
 Again, this can be easy or hard. This and the next step will swallow most of your base investment in your plan, so better have it right!

7) Acquire Blueprints (BPO or BPCs).
BPCs are easy, and can be bought from the market, BPOs cost a lot and need to be researched. If you opted into T2 or T3, Invention and Reverse Engineering will kick in and you'll have to spend a lot of time here.

8) Get base ingredients.
BPOs are researched and you can finally go out and buy the base ingredients.

9) Transport ingredients to production site.
This module can usually be outsorced easily. But if you want to be efficient, consider Mineral compression. If you have a logistics network, a lot of ISK can be saved, since transporting a lot of m3 is expensive, especially if you need to get to LowSec.

10) Build Items.
Time to start reacting, building and building. May be as simple as plugging a BPC into a station slot up to multiple stages of construction for Capitals or T2/T3 ships.

11) Move Items to destination for sale/use.
Something people often forget is that they have to get their finished product back to where they can sell it. Hope you thought about that in your plan, or else you might have that Capital Ship sitting somewhere in LowSec where you can't sell it for a good price.

This ends this part of this series of posts, I'll go into a lot more detail about the entire T1-3 process, and then follow up with detailed explanations of these 11 modules and how they can be managed or implemented.

Fly safe,

OutOfBound

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