Origin Vape / Last Updated February 2019
As you drive up to SMY’s building on the six-lane Shugang Channel road, you can’t help but notice that there’s a building frenzy going on.
A beautiful garden divider stretches as far as the eye can see, and every single building in sight is under construction. The real estate boom is significant, says Lisa, a sales manager at SMY, because it inspires her to come to work every day.
The story of Shenzhen intertwines with Simeiyue Co. Ltd., with ambitious hopes, huge gambles, and a lot at stake. Seeing the city change so fast is shocking, Lisa mentions, but it is also refreshing. To know that you are part of something much bigger sends ripples of energy through the company from the janitor up to the executive level.
Simeiyue has been in business since March 2011, and Lisa has been with SMY for 2 1/2 years. Their tight-run operation has 395 employees, with a 12-man product research team. SMY had humble beginnings, Lisa reflects, “we began as a small trading company in 2011 with only 10 staff.
Our 6000 square meter factory was established…in March 2013. Now we have a comprehensive system with design teams, production and marketing.” The company’s success story has a lot to do with a desire to make customers happy.
A big step towards that goal, implemented this year, was the opening of an after-sale service center in Ohio. There is also a new SMY satellite office in Southern California.
Tremendous growth in the last few years does not mean the company has lost track of their initial goals. The Chinese name of the company is 深圳思美悦科技有限公司. Lisa elaborates on the translation, “思 means deep thinking, 美 means beauty and fashion, and 悦 is joy and happiness.”
Corporate culture is strong in the company. They have a motto: “Quality first, the customer is supreme, delivering healthy lifestyle to create mutual benefit.” These guidelines helped them face many challenges, propelling the company since the beginning.
The S1000 was the first product that SMY offered, a telescopic fully mechanical mod. This mod was also manufactured by Kamry, SMY’s sister company. The quality was great, sales were good, but the S1000 did not make the company famous.
Releasing the God Mod in 2014, the company went into box mod production. The 180 watt triple-18650-in-series powerhouse sent shockwaves through the community. They followed up with several revisions of the mod, followed by the Supermod, a 200 watt triple-battery box.
Following the Supermod was the SMY60TC, a tiny single-battery temperature control device, while they worked out a touch-screen model. The mod had one of the biggest OLED screens in the industry at the time, and a real carbon fiber inlay. Lisa herself vapes and told us that her all-day device is the SMY60TC. Simeiyue’s sales floor has vapers too. Most of them vape zero nicotine liquid.
The inspiration for new products comes from “customer questions and market feedback,” reveals Lisa. “We do a lot of market research and collect customer feedback first before we start designing something new.” The total time it takes for a product to make it from draft table to production run averages 3-6 months.
Some project take longer, but they are outliers. Although consumers’ tastes change, one thing is certain. We vapers love new products. This means the life cycle of a product is shorter than it can be. The pressure is there to make something new. “It is normal to feel pressure, but we believe in our products,” says Lisa.
The pressure does not sway them to release something prematurely, and their six-month timeline for new products is longer than other manufacturers, which shows that they take quite a while in development. This suggests extra time for quality control and integration of refinements.
“Our advantage is…devotion to every single product, focus on quality and customer experience.” – Lisa
The future looks great Lisa says, with plans to “establish branches and warehouses worldwide, for convenience, to serve our customers.” Hubs in all the major markets would serve to smooth out logistical issues that almost all vape manufacturers are now facing. As the market matures and keeps growing, demand will keep rising.
Because the U.S. is the biggest market for the company, the first office opened in California. It has helped SMY gain recognition in the United States market.
Lisa says by firmly planting roots here in the states, SMY hopes to be able to work with regulators over pending legislation in the vape industry. The strategy is long-term, and it is crucial to make sure business continues running smoothly.
Competition in the industry is cutthroat, but Lisa is optimistic. “Each manufacturer has their own advantages, China or overseas. We respect every competitor and learn from them. Our advantage is…devotion to every single product, focus on quality and customer experience. We listen to what customer] have to say and implement…but also research new technology. All of what we do revolves around the customers and market feedback.”
This singular determination hones in on every hack that customers bring forward.
The feedback has a broad spectrum; vendors, distributors, customers and reviewers. These updates help guide the next product as well as refine existing ones.
There are many challenges that are awaiting SMY during their time of growth. Lisa argues that, “the vaping industry has no strict regulation on manufacturers’ responsibility…leading the industry down a haphazard and dangerous road.” She wished that manufacturers would come together and lay down some fundamental guidelines.
Although capitalism demands competition, to save the industry it is important for all parties to work together.
At the very least, differences can be sorted for the good of the whole. Even with the fierce competition, SMY continues to innovate.
The next new tech, according to SMY, is “Wireless charging capability, touch screen and voice activation functionality could be future trends.” As a matter of fact, some of these are being developed into a new product. “
We are now trying to incorporate touch screen and wireless charging functionality, this will be coming soon.” Simeiyue’s three-battery mod was a breakthrough, so it is no surprise that they will try to make waves again.
SMY is reacting to the opportunity at home, but conservatively. The biggest market share is still in the U.S. and Europe. Lisa mentions that “Domestic demand is growing and domestic sales are increasing accordingly. We are paying attention to the changes, however the USA and European markets are still our focus.
We will devote more time to those.” Treading lightly means, at least for the time being, U.S. and EU trends trump domestic ones. Lisa continues, “Domestic demand has grown quickly in the past year and we will definitely make a unique product for the [domestic] market.” SMY will enter the domestic market while it is still nascent, and perhaps earn a spot among the top of the domestic industry.
From modest beginnings building mechanical mods to full-power regulated boxes, SMY continues to push the boundaries of vaping technology. With a focus on innovation and receptivity to legislation, Simeiyue is standing behind their commitment to vapers worldwide.