Farewell 2021, Greetings 2022
Who would have thought that 2021 would rival 2020 for the title of one of the worst years ever!? As devastating as 2020 was for the Amusement Industry and for our organization, there was an entrepreneurial spirit that was alive and well that drove us to pivot and control our destiny. We sold safety signage, sanitization stands, game dividers, and created a home division of Skee-Ball games to get by until our core business would rebound. And rebound it did! Finally, 2021 brought back incredible demand and a whole lot of headaches due to supply chain and labor issues. We are not going to focus on the challenges but rather reflect on our top ten areas of reflection, gratitude and celebration.
- We are grateful that Dave & Buster’s saw what they saw in Axe Master well before it was developed. This commitment started our year out with the wildest game dev and delivery project in our 44-year history. Thank you to D&B and our amazing team for making this IAAPA Brass Award winner come to life!
- Well before games sales rebounded, our Parts and Service department phones were ringing off the hook. Understaffed and overcommitted, that team rose above under the new management of Justin Vanden Heuvel, a 14-year Bay Tek veteran. Our new Parts and Service team is a beautiful blend of some veterans, Village employees, and brand-new family members. Watching them live our excellence value to take care of customers is humbling. Thanks Team!
- We have more formally structured our business under the Village umbrella during all the craziness this year brought. New systems, new processes, new people, and leadership, but the same founding principles, values, love and care. We always say the only constant is change and we sure had our fair share of change this year. Our Bay Tek and Village family members get a huge shout to taking the journey with us as we rebuild together!
- Back in person trade shows!! What else can we say? What a blessing to meet with customers and industry friends again. We thank our trade associations for all the hard work to make these events happen!
- Our incredibly talented R&D team launched three new products, Axe Master, Rock the Rim and Lil’ Ticket Monsters, this year while managing other key updates to products like HyperNova. Ten-year Bay Tek veteran, Pat Scanlan, was able to help lead his team to this success with a skeleton of the crew we had pre-pandemic! But don’t worry we are in the process of building back a strong, dynamic team for 2022 and beyond.
- Going from no demand to weeks of backlog, which feels like it happened over night, caused some whiplash for our dedicated Sales, Marketing and Customer Support team. A truly under-resourced team we added some new faces and will continue to add as we grow back into business as usual. Mark, Anna, Lauren, Andrea, and Dawn deserve a standing ovation for all the tireless effort they put in this year. We have the industry’s best!
- Our production staff have worked more over-time this year than ever before. We thank them and their families for all the hours spent here working hard to get as many games out. If you are reading this and want to come be a game assembler…we are hiring!!
- There are so many Village family members helping support our business and without them we could not design, sell, market, and service our games the way we do without them. From HR to IT, Purchasing to Finance, these men and women fought plenty of their own battles throughout the year and we are so grateful for each and every one of them.
- As much as our headaches came from our suppliers this year, we are forever grateful for them and how hard they worked to continue to get us the inventory we need, develop new parts like axes and pins, changing material and their processes to get us parts, hand delivering our inventory due to labor shortages, and on and on and on! Without their dedication we would not be where we are today.
- Finally, our customers! We celebrate and Thank YOU. You persevered. You supported us relentlessly during one of our most challenging years ever. There are no words to describe how humbled we are by your support, dedication, and friendship. So, there is only action and we will continue to work diligently on your behalf to give you the products and services you deserve at the level of excellence we expect.
All in all, it was quite the year with plenty challenges yet plenty to be proud of. We have always defined our Bay Tek Family as our employees, their families, our customers, suppliers, and community. We thank each and everyone of you for getting us this far and we look forward to the mountains we will continue to climb together.
“Smooth seas do not make skillful sailors” ~ African Proverb
Cheers to all you skillful sailors!
Your friends at Bay Tek Entertainment