This was not all that well received by established industrialists because it didn't maximize profit. Risks must be taken in business just as in PvP. This is not an uncommon sentiment among serious industrialists, and even those who are not primarily industrialists and only pay for their other vices through PI. It is also not wrong. It is a choice. Some folks are less risk averse than others. This post is for them.
Maximizing profit in WH PI isn't just about producing the stuff you can sell for the most money. There are two other concerns that you should take into account.
- The first is mass matters. All WHs have the same PI potential. Not all WHs allow all ship types. You aren't going to take an Orca into a Class 1 WH. Moving a freighter in and out of some connections runs the risk of collapsing that connection and stranding you on the wrong side. This happened just recently within HBHI in fact. As an Industrialist, not being in your hole means you can't run your industry. A day's delay can throw a big wrench into a well designed "just in time" production system.
- Second, your route to market is impaired. You will not have the luxury of getting your goods in and out of your WH whenever you want. This isn't so important if you have a high-sec static. However, if you live in a WH with a low-sec static (like I do) or you live in any WH above a C3, you will only be able to take your goods to market when the laws of WH physics and raiders say you can.
These two concerns dictate that you keep the cargo volume of your goods to a minimum. Not to minimize ship loss costs, but to ensure you can get the cargo out to your market at all. Smaller ships can do this more easily but have smaller cargo holds. The second reason is you want to maximize profit per m3 when you can make it to market. Here is an example of what I mean.
The average current price across all market hubs of a Wetware Mainframe is approximately 1.2m ISK. They take 100 m3 of cargo space each. If your transport has 3000 m3, you can transport 30 of them. Here is the profit equation per full cargo hold.
( 3000 m3 / 100 m3 ) * 1,2000,000 ISK = 36,000,000 ISK
Now, compare that with Biotech Research Reports which take 6 m3 of cargo space and currently sell for an average of 74k ISK.
(3000 m3 / 6 m3) * 74,000 ISK = 37,000,000 ISK
It is more profitable to build the P3 item than the P4. They also have the added benefit of fitting into more ships. If I have a four low-sec jump to get from my static K162 to high-sec, I might want to take an Arazu rather than a transport. With a 315 m3 cargo hold, I can haul three Wetware Mainframes or 52 Biotech Research Reports. That's 3.2m ISK versus 3.8m ISK. These differences add up, especially when the Arazu survives where the transport might not have. The other thing that happens in a hole is you sometimes get an awesome random K162 or excellent static. You only have 20 P3 items ready to sell though (for whatever reason.) Then you take a Helios because it's quick and cloaky. This of course assumes you don't need to buy anything. That's not what this post is about so let's just skip it.
Lastly, don't forget to take into account how many planets you'll need. That is also a limiting factor in PI profitability. It takes a minimum of three planets to make Wetware Mainframes and an extra level of factories. You can produce Biotech Research Reports on just two planets (they have to be the right two of course) and needs one less level of production. Theoretically (and I say this because it really depends on how your planets scan out,) you can run three P3 lines compared to only two P4 lines.
Now for what I've decided to produce. I have decided to manufacture an item that requires two P3 and a P2 component and an additional stand alone P3. The item I am manufacturing is Nanite Repair Paste. It is a high volume product in the ammunition category and currently sells for about 15,000 ISK per unit though prices do vary wildly from system to system. Better yet, it takes one of each P3 item and four of the P2 items that together would need 13.52 m3 of cargo space to haul and reduces the needed space to .01 m3. Now that's compression! At that rate of compression, the Arazu from before can transport a helluva lot of profit.
(315 m3 / .01 m3) * 15,000 ISK = 472,500,000 ISK!
With profit to cubic meter ratios like that, you should be able to get your goods to market much, much easier. You can wait for that optimal static. You can make one trip, which is always the bast way to go. You get your hard work to market quickly and safely so you can actually realize the profit. Remember, until you get your products to market, all you've got is a bunch of stuff in storage.
In part two of this post, I'll discuss exactly how I setup the planets in my WH to maximize profit by producing three P3 and a P2 component. Believe it or not, it is very much like fitting a ship. Until then...