When you undock a freighter from a generic caldari station and warp somewhere, if that 'somewhere' is to the right of your ship you're going to bounce off the station and fail to warp. So when an industrial type picks a station to freighter minerals to, they prefer stations where the undock is pointing at the place where they warp after undocking; or failing that, a point they can warp to, then warp to where they want to go (a bounce spot).
Jita is an impressively bad system for this. If you buy minerals in the 4-4 station, there is only one manufacturing station you can warp to without having to use a bounce spot. And undocking from that manufacturing station, you have to use a bounce spot to get to the 4-4 station without getting stuck.
(I'm going somewhere with this, I promise)
In lowsec, this is exacerbated by the lowsec aspect because if you fuck up you die. Therefore, when building in lowsec one very much prefers stations where you can warp a jump freighter straight to the out-gate after undocking.
In the lowsec system where I have been building capitals, there are two good stations. One has practically a straight out warp to the highsec gate, the other takes a while to align but also has somebody stocking it with capital mods so it's better to sell ships there.
I initially started building at the station with the capital mods, but pretty soon after I started somebody started repeatedly installing 10 day runs in every manufacturing slot. I moved to the other station, and that was good until the end of last month, when there started being jobs in all the slots. Not 10 day jobs, but there are always wait times now.
This is not okay. You could think of my capital production as a just-in-time process, where a delay at any stage holds up the entire system (this is actually completely untrue, but the analogy works). Short version, a wait time of a few days for production jobs to start has a really bad effect on the number of ships I can build in a month. Like say, a 4 day delay reduces the number of ships per month by 50%.
EDIT: Hence the title of the post.
The first thing I did was decrease granularity. Example: I have two capital ship runs which each need 20 units of a particular component. If a 20-unit run takes 60 hours and the wait time on the manufacturing slots is 100 hours, it would take 320 hours to do two 20-unit runs; but I can also do one 40-unit run, which will only take 220 hours.
The second thing to help the situation was to farm out farm out component runs. There are two stations in the system which still have free manufacturing slots. If I can move minerals and components between the stations, I can avoid wait times. My jump freighter pilot isn't always available to move stuff in lowsec, so I trained one of my alts to fly a freighter and built a fenrir (fastest align time) from a blueprint copy. This is a decent stopgap measure, but not a solution. Unfortunately, the manufacturing slot situation isn't improving.
One thing would be to move my entire operation to a different station in the system. Unfortunately, both of the remaining stations result in the jump freighter getting stuck trying to warp to the out gate. So....
Move to a different system. There are 5 systems in forge which I could use for cap building, with a total of 11 manufacturing stations. Two of them have captial mods for sale. Conditions are better in several of these systems, and if I really have to I can even stock a system with capital mods.
I evaluated all the stations. Seven of them were bad for one reason or another, three are less than great and one looked pretty good, so that's where I'm moving.
Unfortunately there are no capital mods for sale in the system I've chosen. This is semi-important because the availability of mods makes your system a more desirable place to buy a ship. Properly speaking I don't have to stock it, but it's bad to have ships stuck on the market longer than necessary, so I will. Which will set my less short term plans back at least half a month, but whatever. I'm retired; it's not like I'm in a hurry.
Oddly enough, a capital manufacturing operation is highly portable -- all I have to do is change a few bookmarks and move my blueprints to the new system as my current runs finish up. NBD.