My first manufacturing jobs in EVE Online finish, with a couple of thousand Scourge heavy missiles waiting ready to be picked up. As I mentioned, it was only after I had started the manufacture of the missiles that I realise the number of missiles being produced would perhaps last for a handful of level three missions. As such, I am keeping this first run for myself. Calculating my costs I can see that I could have turned a profit on the missiles, so this run still turns out profitable in its way as I won't need to buy the missiles off the market for more than I can buy the minerals and make them myself.
With the first job complete I immediately set-up a second run of the missiles. This time I am a little more ambitious, increasing the output by an order of magnitude. I pay attention to the cost of minerals and the quantities I buy, the cost of the installation, and the current cost of the missiles on the market. Doing the sums I can see that I can turn a profit on the missiles, although the margin will be fairly slim in the competitive market. The larger production run also effectively reduces the cost per missile of the facility's manufacturing slot, which is a fixed one-time cost, although the cost per hour remains the same.
The other item fresh off the production line is a module I manufactured in a quantity that is relatively small but still far more than I could feasibly have a use for. It is really cheap to manufacture yet checking the market it sells with a huge price mark-up, even if the ISK value is not particularly significant. I think I will only need to sell half of the production run to recover all my costs, including purchasing the BPO, so if I sell the entire stock I will be able to make more purely from the profits of the first run. I could then manufacture larger runs and fund other research and production. Of course, the modules need to sell first.
I scan the regional market for the module and note price fluctuations in different systems. I use my own experience of preferring to buy more expensive items locally instead of jumping two or three systems away for something cheaper, extrapolating this personal behaviour in to a more general rule. I pick up all my newly manufactured modules and head in to a system that has a few batches of the modules at a more expensive price and, splitting my production run across two space stations, undercut the competition a little. I shall see how well the modules sell.
From this I realise that splitting production runs in to multiple batches to sell on the market uses up more trade slots than selling them as a single batch, which will require more skill training to increase the number of sell orders I can run simultaneously once my manufacturing starts churning out many different modules. I also realise that I need to take in to account brokers' fees and such like when calculating overall cost and thus profit margins.
In other news, my new Badger Mark II only ended up costing me around 150,000 ISK, as I was able to sell my old Badger quickly for a reasonable price. I think that worked out quite well.