This section will cover the basics of setting up a factory and moving your company towards industry. The commerce chapter covered finding your starting town, building your headquarters and building some stores. Your company should have at least 4 stores built by now, you should be making profit, and you will need about $75,000,000 for the construction and research of your first industry. If you do not have at least 4 stores built, now would be a good time to do that! The reason for having several stores first is that your factories need to reach a certain level of production before they will be profitable. So if your sales volume is high before you start the factory, it will almost immediately show a profit.
The industry side of the economy is important. This is where many people get the money to buy the products that you are selling. The economy in Starpeace Online is completely connected: people work in the factories and receive salaries, with the money they have left, after paying rent on the apartments that they live in, they purchase goods in your stores, the products they buy come from your (and other) factories. You need to keep this cycle in mind when you lower wages in your factory: there might be times you need to but in the long run it is not a good policy.
When you first built your stores, your sales policy helped you decide where to place your buildings. On the industry side you sales strategy will guide you in your research. Most research items available will either increase quality by lowering efficiency or they will raise efficiency, possibly lowering quality at the same time. That is why it was important to decide what market you are going to sell to at the beginning.
Buying a License in your Company Headquarters
Building factories requires both a license to operate in certain areas of industry, and research so that you can build the kind of factories you want.
For the tutorial, you will be purchasing the license and basic technology to operate an appliance factory. The reason that you will build an appliance factory is that it can operate year round. Farms for example shut down in the winter.
However, you must keep in mind that the Starpeace Online economy is dynamic and there is a chance that after you build your factory you might have a hard time selling your products. This could result from other tycoons selling higher quality appliances than you can produce right now. In event that happens you can try to move your stores closer to the low class housing, because they will buy the lower quality products.
Right click on your Company Headquarters.
Click on the Research button and go to the Industry Tab.
This is where you purchase your operating licenses and buy research to improve your manufacturing process. Inside the Industry tab there will be three more tabs that enable you to view: what you are currently researching, available research, and what you have already developed.
3. Click on the Available tab in the Research panel.
If the small green circle next to some of the industry categories is green, it means that this area is available for you to research. If the circle is gray it means you don't meet all requirements to research in that industry segment.
Click the + symbol on the Household Appliances section.
By clicking on the + symbol it expands the list, so that you can see all the research items for the industry segment that you are in.
Click on Appliance Production.
This is the first item required to go into appliance production. It will provide you with the basic technology necessary to build appliance factories. When you select a research item, notice that the description, requirements, cost, and license fee, if applicable, are displayed.
Click on the Developed tab that is inside the Research tab.
This tab will display all the research items that you have researched. You can also sell research items here by clicking on an item in the list and then clicking on the Sell button. Be careful not to sell something that you need though. For example, if you had some food processors and you sold your license for food processing, all of your food processors would stop functioning. Selling is a good option when you want to increase your capital if you have already divested from the area in question, by demolishing or closing your factories.
Click on the Available tab.
Expand the Household Appliance section.
Click on Appliance Production
Click on the Research button.
You company headquarters will now start to research the basics of appliance production. When the research is completed, the license fee will automatically be deducted.
An operating license is required to start in each new industry area. Your first license is free the second one costs $1,000,000.00, the third one $2,000,000.00 and each subsequent one doubles in price. You need to keep that in mind when you start to invest in more areas. You would want to have a plan to guide your license purchases. You only need one license per company for an industry area. For example, you only buy one Appliance license to build all of your appliance factories for your current company.
11. Click on the Inspect button to close the inspection window.
Summary on Buying your First Licence at the Company Headquarter.
That covers all the basic steps on buying your first licence. The next section will cover building your first factory.
You can research all matters of industry at the Company Headquarters.
The first license costs $0, the second $1 million. Each subsequent license you buy is double the cost of the previous one.
You only need to buy one license per industry segment per company.
Building your first Factory
Currently your screen should still be over your headquarters. Move around the map and find where the other factories are located, they're usually out of town. You will need to place your factory on industrial, yellow zoned land. If the land is not zoned you should build in the same general area as the other factories. Note: you will want enough space so that you can group your factories together the same way you grouped your headquarters together. You want your factory out of town and away from housing because the factory produces pollution. Pollution damages people's health, lowers the land and property values, and generally degrades the quality of life. Follow the steps below to build your first factory:
Move the map to the area that you want to build on. You should build on yellow zoned land, if the land is zoned, otherwise move away from housing.
Click on the Build button. If the build page is not on the main menu click on the Home button.
Click the Factories button.
The menu will now load the list of factories. The text will be white for the ones that you can build. This list differs depending on your company's seal.
Click on Small Household Appliances.
Notice the zone symbol is yellow for factories.
Click on the More Info button.
The factory descriptions will provide you their production capacity, raw materials needed, the amount of prestige you will get from building the selected building, and the number of each type of worker your factory will employ. Note: only the raw materials you need are mentioned, not the quantity. Certain research can change the efficiency of your factory, modifying the amount of raw materials used per unit of production.
Click the Build Now button.
Move your mouse around the screen until the building turns green.
Click the mouse, this will start construction of your factory.
Click on your factory.
Click the Home button on the Build page.
Click on the Build button to close the Build page.
Click the orange arrow above the small map window to display the quick links list.
Make sure your factory is selected then click the Add button.
Rename the link so you know that it is your Mariko Appliance factory
Close the quick link list.
Inspecting the factory
After the factory finishes building you can inspect the factory and continue with the next part of the tutorial. It will cover the basics of the inspection window's tabs that have new information on them.
Wait for the factory to finish building.
Right click on the factory.
Click the General tab.
Click the "Sell to all stores" button.
This will cause your factory to be listed in the supplier section on all of your stores. You should see the production level go up for the factory.
Click on the "Trade with" dropdown list.
This is where you can change your factory to sell only to yourself, only to your allies, or sell to anyone. For now leave it set to anyone. Your main focus right now is getting your factory to 100% production so you can get maximum profit from it.
Click on the Products tab.
This is where you can set the price of your products. Everyone has his or her own idea on how much money a factory should generate per hour. Some people just want to break even at the factory and make more at the store; others want just the opposite, make it all at the factory and break even at the store. Another way to come up with a guideline is to factor in the cost of the factory, around $22,000,000 in this case. The price on the build menu is listed in 1000's so the number displayed was around $22,000. So what you can do is take two 0's off the build menu number, then use the result as your profit per hour. In your example, take two 0's off $22,000 and you have $220/hour (basically you are dividing the total price by 100,000). What you should do is adjust your factory so that it's making $220/hour when it's at around 85-95% production capacity. In this manner you have a base revenue model, which you should set all of your factories to, so each one will generate an equal amount of profit. In the end, like many other options, it comes down to your personal preference. The average selling price for the town that you are in is displayed in green text on the product price bar and you can also use that as a guideline. You should adjust your factory's product price now, and you might have to adjust your selling price at your stores after this too (do it at your clone store and send the settings to all others).
The Offer button allows you to offer your products to other players' stores and warehouses. You will likely want to wait until you build a warehouse before you offer your products to other people. Your factories are limited to 20 connections, but a warehouse can have basically an unlimited number of connections. The Offer button works just like the Hire button did, it takes you to a search page where you look for buyers.
Click on the Supplies tab.
This tab will list the supplies that your factory needs to purchase so that it can produce appliances. When you build a factory it automatically connects to other players' warehouses and the Trade Center. You can only buy from the Trade Center at your first few levels, so you will want to make sure you find supplies from other players or yourself when you build more factories later on. The Hire button works the same as it did for your headquarters. When you click on it, you will go to a search panel where you can hire suppliers. The other thing to do on this page is set your max price settings for each supply. The price you are currently paying shows up, where it says cost. Set your max price at about 10 to 20% higher than your cost, this will protect you from overpriced supplies, while leaving some room for price fluctuations. This same rule applies to your factories, with regards to the max price: if you set it too low your factory will not be able to buy supplies and it production will stop. You should go through and setup your suppliers for all of the raw materials your factory needs.
Click the Services tab.
This shows how many services your factory is requesting. The services are actually purchased at your company headquarters.
Click on the Jobs tab.
This is where you can adjust the wages you are paying your workers. Since, for the most part, factories employ most of the town's workers it can be precarious for you to pay them very low wages. If the mayor of the town has set a minimum wage, you will see it displayed in red on the wage bar.
Click the Inspect button to close the Inspection window.
Summary on Building a Factory
That covers the basics of building factories and adjusting some of the settings; the next section will cover industrial research. Some general tips on building a factory are listed below:
If the land is zoned you need to build on yellow zoned land.
Build your factories out of town and away from housing.
Factories produce pollution. You can view the polluted areas on the overlays.
Come up with a pricing strategy that you use for all of your factories.
Remember to set your Max price settings on the Suppliers tab.
Build your factories together to save space on your quick links list and to make them easier to find.
Now you have a small supply chain going: suppliers to factories to stores. You need to think about research to improve your products, processes and profitability. This is where your sales policy comes into play again. If you are selling to the high class you would research Quality; for the low class you would research efficiency at the expense of quality, and for the middle class you would need to a balance of both efficiency and quality. The next steps will show you how to research something and the effects it will have on your factory.
Move to your company headquarters.
Right click on your company headquarters.
Click on the researches button, industry tab.
On the Available tab scroll down to Household Appliances.
Click the + sign next to Household Appliances to expand the list.
Click on any research item in the list below Large Scale Appliance Production.
When you click on a research item you will see its description displayed on the right, along with the effects it will have on your production. Keep in mind that if you decrease efficiency you will increase raw material usage.
Look through the list and pick out one of the items that cost around $25,000,000.00, it should probably be one that increases your quality.
Click on the item that you want to research.
Click on the Research button.
This will give your headquarters the order to start the research. You will see your income drop drastically until the research is complete. The rate of completion will be displayed above your headquarters, if it's selected.
Click on the Inspect button to close the Inspection window.
Move back to your factory.
Click on your factory.
Look at the green ticker bar.
This will tell you about your factories current production, as it scrolls you will see the current quality and efficiency. Keep your factory selected and wait for the research to finish. Look at the factory's profit/hour displayed above the factory.
Look at the factory's profit/hour displayed above the factory.
Wait until you will see a message displayed on the screen that tells you research complete.
Look at the green ticker bar again.
You should now see the effects of your research, your quality and efficiency should have changed according to what you have just researched.
Look at the factory's profit/hour displayed above the factory.
Since your research changed your raw material usage, you will see a difference in the factory's profit/hour. You may need to adjust your factory prices, and then if you do that you might need to adjust your store prices. By using the quick links or spider in combination with the Clone button you can easily adjust all your stores.
Summary on Industrial Research
That covers the basics of researching items and how to view their effects on your factory. The next section will cover how to expand your company. Here are some general research tips:
If you decrease efficiency you increase raw material use, and vice versa.
Since most of the research items change raw material usage, you should check the profitability of your factory after each item has been researched.
Use your sales policy as a guide for the items to research. Researching things that are not consistent with your sales policy is wasteful and can have an adverse effect on your profitability.
Deciding how to expand your Industry
This section will give you a few tips on expanding your industries. There are some general guidelines that you can use to help you decide where to expand. There are basically three methods that you can use in any combination. Remember to check the commerce page at the town hall for information on what is in demand in the city you are in.
Method 1. Small self-supporting circle of industries
Using this method you would set up a small group of industries that support each other. This gives you maximum control over your business, but it limits your interaction with other players. An example would be ore, chemicals, farms, processed food, textiles, and clothing. This group of industries forms a complete supply chain for three retail products fresh food, processed food, and clothes. With this circle you control all aspects of the manufacturing and distribution process.
Method 2. Supplier-based raw material production
Using this method you will concentrate on producing raw materials that other players need. Examples of this would be ore, chemicals, metals, farms and textiles. In this method the only retail product you would have is fresh food, all the rest of the items will need to be sold to other players, and the majority of your retail products will also come from other players. This method is more challenging because your success is dependant upon other players.
Method 3. Retail Production
In this method you produce the final products sold in stores and you buy the raw materials from other players. Examples of this would be processed food, clothing, appliances, toys and cars. All of those items are final retail products. This method is very challenging as well, because you are not producing any of your own raw materials. But just as in method 2, your interaction with other players is increased greatly because you are interdependent on each other.
You can use any of the aforementioned methods to come up with your plan for purchasing licenses. It's important to use a common theme when purchasing your licenses because the cost of each one doubles over the cost of the previous one.
Summary of Industry
That covers all the basic information needed to build yourself some factories, research improvements to your business, and to expand into new areas. The main thing to keep in mind is that the economy is dynamic. If a lot of players achieve much higher quality than you, it will make it harder for you to sell your products until you catch up to them quality-wise. Having competitors with a certain level of quality or pricing today doesn't mean they won't try to improve them tomorrow. You can check the Town Hall's commerce page to view the supply and demand situation in town. Note: if you cannot make a profit with a factory for some reason, shut it down and demolish it. When you are at the first level you get all your money back when you demolish a building. Some general tips:
Factories need to built on yellow, industrial zoned land if the land is zoned.
Build your factories close together to make them easier to find.
Only put one factory of a specific type on your quick links list.
Come up with a pricing strategy that you can use with all of your factories.
Use your sales policy as a guide for research.
The cost of each license you buy doubles over the cost of the previous one. Plan your purchases carefully.