Devon have finished bottom of the Minor Counties Western Division for the first time since 1981 after a heavy final-match defeat by Shropshire.
They crashed to a 10-wicket loss at Shrewsbury, finishing the season with no wins from their six three-day games.
"There's often a fine line between winning and losing," director of cricket Keith Donohue told BBC Sport.
"It's not to say we didn't compete over most of the season, but there's lots of room for improvement obviously."
Devon finished third and also won the limited-overs competition last year but lost ex-captain Josh Bess, while bowlers Jack Popham (Gloucestershire) and Ryan Stevenson (Hampshire) have both stepped up to first-class county cricket.
Shropshire were left with a target of 73 to win, and got the job done in less than seven overs, Omar Ali, younger brother of England's Moeen Al, smashing 58 off just 23 balls, hitting five sixes and four fours.
"Shropshire are one of those counties that employ the services of several professionals, and people often overlook those sort of issues," added Donohue.
"We always have that option but, as a general rule, we don't think that's the right thing to do."