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Vape-Jet

Vape-Jet 2023 Company Review 

Vape-Jet Exec Team

Letter from Vape-Jet CEO Ryan Hoitt  

Looking back at 2023, I am happy to reflect on the incredible journey Vape-Jet has undertaken over the past year. Despite the challenges faced by the cannabis industry, Vape-Jet has not only persevered but thrived. Our commitment to innovation, customer-focused solutions, and strategic growth have propelled us to new heights. Join me as we revisit the key milestones and achievements that defined our success in 2023.  

A Year of Innovation: Key Achievements

Jet Fueler 3.0 Machine Upgrade  

In early 2023, we unveiled the Jet Fueler 3.0, a testament to our dedication to continuous improvement. The new high-force pump resulted in an average 20% boost to throughput, along with a sleeker interface, multi-dose dispensing, and LED indicator—making operators’ work smoother.  

Dab Dispenser Pilot Program  

Breaking new ground, we announced the Vape-Jet Dab Dispenser, revolutionizing extract production. Designed to automate the processes of dispensing concentrates into jars, the Dab Dispenser offers customers the same Vape-Jet standard of innovation to replace another traditionally manual process.

What sets us apart is our commitment to involving customers in the final testing phase. Our exclusive Pilot Program, where five hand selected participants collaborate with our engineers, reflects our belief in co-creating the future of cannabis automation. Most importantly, “the Test Pilots love the Dab Dispenser!” CSO Devon Reid says. “People can’t express how happy they are that this machine exists; it finally makes concentrate packaging a scalable business. Expect improved employee retention plus better margins.”  

Unified Software and Product Enhancements  

Focusing on user convenience, we unified software across all our products, ensuring future enhancements benefit all filling machines and any additional products. Notable product enhancements include improved operator views with LED lighting for Vape-Jet syringes, and separated formulation and hardware configuration profiles.  

“One key to our success is listening,” CFO Brian Kuo explains. “We’re not about one-time releases. We evolve with your feedback, pushing out improvements seamlessly. It’s not just about the product; it’s about a continuous partnership with our clients.”

Creative Response to Challenges  

In true Vape-Jet fashion, we faced challenges head-on, responding to our first cease-and-desist letter with a touch of humor—a cat meme! Our ability to navigate challenges creatively reflects the resilient spirit of our crew.

State of the Industry  

The state of the cannabis industry in 2023 is a nuanced panorama, revealing a sector marked by challenges and resilience. The financial landscape has undergone a notable shift, with 34% of participants reporting revenue decreases, surpassing the 20% reporting revenue increases. A significant 53% admitted to being unprofitable in the most recent fiscal year. However, amidst these challenges, 39% reported profitability, showcasing the industry’s capacity to adapt. The diverse nature of U.S. state-legal cannabis markets contribute to distinct outlooks for companies in various regions. Insights from various states, such as accounts of the stress faced by permitted farms in California and oversupply’s impact in Arizona, underscore the diverse challenges encountered.   

Collectively, these insights depict an industry in flux, contending with financial challenges, oversupply issues, and evolving regulatory landscapes. However, the resilience and adaptability of cannabis businesses, coupled with ongoing legislative efforts, set the stage for a transformative 2024. As the industry steps into this new year, it stands at a crossroads, embodying both progress and persisting challenges, with legislative efforts, evolving regulations, and public support shaping its trajectory.  

Ryan Hoitt, CEO  

2023 Financial Growth with CFO Brian Kuo  

In 2023, our theme was growth and expansion. We moved to a 9,000+ sq ft facility, introduced new products to the market, and grew our team. 2023 was still a tumultuous year for the cannabis industry, and the economy as a whole with the interest rate environment making it challenging for Companies to find funding. Luckily, we were “default alive” and cash flow positive/profitable and continued the trend from 2022 by having its best year ever in 2023, including several company record-breaking months throughout the year.    

Our continued mission of innovation (in a space that often grows stale with retrofits and dated equipment) continues to build value for our clients and pushes us to innovate to pass even more benefits to our customers. This mission emphasizes growth alongside our customers, crew diversity and experience, heavy investments in R&D, and local manufacturing, assembly, and support of our filling machines.   

As we look to the new year, I want to take a moment to reflect on some of our accomplishments:    

  • In 2023, our YoY (year-over-year) revenue grew by almost 53%*    
  • We have been profitable and cash flow positive since 2020, with an approximate 236% growth in profitability YoY in 2023*    
  • We have simultaneously increased our total assets by more than 22% with no new long-term debt while also rewarding our stakeholders  
  • Our crew crushed it this year, so we rewarded their hard work by increasing our employee profit share bonus by approximately 63% from the prior year  

Brian Kuo, CFO    

*Financial data included in this blog is unaudited and not to be relied upon for investment decisions. 2023 has not been closed at the time this blog was written. Some figures are estimates.   

2023 Operational Growth with CSO Devon Reid and Operations Manager Chuck Rouse 

In 2023, Vape-Jet experienced significant operational growth. First, we increased production capacity substantially, reflecting our commitment to meeting the escalating demand for our products. This expansion allowed us to shatter previous records, achieving a noteworthy milestone—ZERO lead time on Jet Fueler and Vape-Jet filling machines for the first time in company history.   

The move to a larger warehouse marked a pivotal moment in our journey. Formerly scattered across three separate two-story units, our entire team now operates cohesively under one expansive roof, boasting over 9,000 square feet of space. “Our new warehouse accommodates virtually all of manufacturing, shipping, receiving, technical support, and research and development functions,” Devon says. “The reduction in wasted steps and touch points enabled the R&D process to transfer two new products into manufacturing, launching the Flight Deck accessory for Vape-Jet and the Dab Dispenser for extract packaging.”

“The operational efficiencies of the single-roof-facility are born out in the numbers,” Operations Manager Chuck Rouse says. “Year over year we produced 41% more Vape-Jets, 11% more Jet-Fuelers, and saw total units completed (including Squish-O-Matic, Flight Deck, and the new Dab Dispenser) rise 13%.” 

Moreover, our local team has grown over 30%, with expansion across our on site manufacturing and product support departments. This infusion of new talent not only reflects our dedication to bolstering internal capabilities but also underscores our pursuit of excellence in every aspect of our operation.

2023 Customer Support and Engagement 

At Vape-Jet, our commitment to customer satisfaction goes beyond delivering cutting-edge products; it extends to the ongoing support and engagement we provide to our customers. In 2023, we continued to elevate our customer support initiatives, ensuring that our clients experience seamless post-sales service.  

Updates to Documentation and Self-Guided Resources  

We updated our documentation and introduced self-guided resources on our HelpDesk

Expansion of Product Support Team  

We expanded our product support team to provide timely assistance and troubleshooting.  

Product support also means assisting our customers with ramping up their production. “We were a 3000-4000 package a week lab, now, we’re a 12,000-15,000 package a week lab,” Larry Decristofaro, Proper Brands’ Director of Processing says. “[Vape-Jet] is not just helping us grow by the numbers, it’s helping us grow in our thought processes.” 

Rapid Response Times   

We maintained our same-day response commitment, with response times as little as 15 minutes.  

“I’ve had nothing but good experiences,” Bobby from ElevatedRX says, “[The support team has] always been there for us any time we need anything. I’ve never encountered someone where I’ve felt like they were having a ‘bad day.’” 

Automation for Faster Responses  

We implemented automation in our internal systems not only to expedite product support response times but also to streamline scheduling processes.  

Refined Hardware Compatibility Testing  

We refined our hardware compatibility testing process, assuring that our products work harmoniously with various hardware setups. 

Coming Soon: As part of our ongoing commitment to customer support, we’re excited to announce a new hardware compatibility resource set to be released in Q1 2024. This comprehensive resource aims to provide customers and potential clients with valuable insights into hardware compatibility and usage optimization. Stay informed about this upcoming release by signing up for our newsletter and joining us on our journey of continuous improvement and innovation at Vape-Jet.  

2023 Community and Industry Engagement with Creative Director Carly Hoitt  

At Vape-Jet, we don’t just create cutting-edge automation solutions; we actively engage with the cannabis industry, forming partnerships, participating in events, and collaborating with like-minded innovators. Here’s a glimpse into our involvement in 2023:  

“We’re not about chasing the hype,’” adds Ryan Hoitt. “Our collaborations are all about genuine connections. It’s not about appearances; it’s about building real relationships.”  

New Partners and an Expanded Partner Program  

We are proud to announce the addition of new partners to our growing network. As part of our commitment to collaboration, we’ve expanded our partner program, welcoming brands that share our vision for excellence in cannabis production.  

“In 2023, our Partner Program and participation in several collaborative events demonstrated the undeniable power of social proof,” Carly says. “Working collaboratively with our partner brands has not only fortified our industry relationships but has also significantly enhanced our ability to serve and support our existing customers, cementing our role as leaders in innovation and customer satisfaction.”  

2023 Partners:   

  • Greentank – provides high-quality, reliable vaporizers that surpass industry standards.   
  • iKrusher – a trailblazer in disposable vapes, 510 thread batteries, cartridges, vape pod systems, and portable vaporizers.  
  • N.N. Analytics – built to serve the rapidly developing vaping industry with honest and effective consulting, N.N. Analytics supports their customer’s efforts in achieving national and international regulation standards.   
  • Abstrax – the only U.S. licensed company for in-house study, extraction, and formulation of botanical terpene profiles. With proprietary GCxGC technology, Abstrax tests for over 400 compounds, surpassing industry standards.  
  • Media Bros – bring a scientifically engineered approach to improve extraction technologies, focusing on quality and throughput.   
  • Luna Tech – introduces patented automated systems for easier extraction and better extracts.   
  • 2 Bridges Cannabis Design – provides expert advice for new and existing cannabis companies in facility design and operation.  

If you’re interested in joining our program, apply here!  

Coming Up: NECANN Boston 2024  

Looking ahead, Vape-Jet is gearing up for NECANN Boston March 22-23, 2024. This event is another exciting opportunity to engage with our customers, share our industry insights, and explore potential collaborations. Stay tuned for updates and stop by booth #1215 to meet the crew and see our tech for yourself.

2024 Growth Goals and Vision  

Reflecting on 2023  

Entering 2024, we recognize the importance of establishing clear benchmarks to sustain our growth and keep our crew accountable. Before we dive into our goals for 2024, let’s look at how we did with our goals for 2023.

  • Major Product UpgradeAchieved with Jet Fueler 3.0
    The release of Jet Fueler 3.0 in the first quarter showcased our commitment to continuous improvement and innovation. 
  • New Product LaunchAchieved with Dab Dispenser  
    The unveiling of the Vape-Jet Dab Dispenser, in tandem with our exclusive Pilot Program, allowed customers to actively participate in product testing. 
  • International CertificationsAchieved with CSA Certification  
    Obtaining CSA certification for both Vape-Jet and Jet Fueler was a crucial milestone. Now, we can enter new international markets, particularly in Canada.  
  • Enhanced SupportAchieved with Improved Response Times  
    Our commitment to customer support reached new heights in 2023. Achieving our goal of increased support hours and improved response times ensures that our customers receive prompt and effective assistance whenever needed.  

Looking Ahead to 2024  

As we embark on our journey in 2024, Vape-Jet remains committed to innovation, customer satisfaction, and collaborative ventures that will shape the future of cannabis automation.

  • Continued Software Innovation
    Vape-Jet is poised to continue innovating on the software front. With a dedicated focus on refining and expanding our software capabilities, we aim to provide our customers with cutting-edge solutions that enhance the performance of our machines.
  • Customer Support Excellence
    Our dedication to customer support remains a cornerstone of our ethos. In the coming year, we will further our efforts to ensure that every customer receives unparalleled assistance.
  • Leveraging AI for Efficiency
    Vape-Jet is set to leverage additional artificial intelligence (AI) tools to optimize internal processes and increase efficiency. Customers can anticipate encountering these AI features within our machine software, representing a seamless integration of advanced technology into our offerings.
  • Collaborative Ventures with IoT Technology
    Looking beyond our immediate sphere, Vape-Jet is eager to collaborate with other companies interested in implementing our IoT technology and product support processes into their cannabis automation offerings. If you’re developing something groundbreaking, reach out to us, and let’s explore the possibilities together.  

Onward and Upward!

As the crew embarks on another exciting year, we express our deepest gratitude to our partners, customers, and the entire Vape-Jet community for their unwavering support in 2023. “This year our growth at Vape-Jet has been nothing short of outstanding, and this is thanks to our partners, customers, and incredible operators in the field,” Sales Lead Sawyer Sheppard says. “We can’t wait to continue to innovate, support, and create better tools for our partners in 2024!” 

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