Cory Jorgensen, Founder & President
“My emphasis in life has always been on making everything simpler and efficient.” This statement from Cory Jorgensen, the Founder and President of Bitco Software, underlines the essence of his company. Earlier in his career, Jorgensen had firsthand experience of the looming problems in the government sector around technology adoption. He wanted to create something that will improve the efficiency of government agencies and foster their engagement with citizens. Jorgensen left his well-paying job, stayed in a friend’s basement, and spent a year developing the software, which today, is transforming the way government agencies carry out permitting processes.
“Our vision is to bring the software and government together,” says Jorgensen. Bitco Software achieves this through PermitTrax, a robust solution that automates the complex processes associated with tracking and managing permits in various agencies. “PermitTrax empowers not only the state and local governments but also the citizens, by letting them apply for permits online, schedule inspections, and track the progress,” asserts Jorgensen.
Facilitating Better Communication for Improved Efficiency
PermitTrax thrives on its simplicity and efficiency. Started as a simple permit tracking system, PermitTrax has today become a full-featured web-based enterprise land management suite packaged and sold as a SaaS (Software as a Service) or On- Premise solution and a soon to be released simple version for small cities. The SaaS offering is oriented toward government agencies that lack the budget or means to house and maintain a powerful land management application. The solution provides municipal agencies with the ability to track permits, licenses, certificates, registration, inspections, and code enforcement cases.
While helping clients save time and cost, PermitTrax has the power to solve operational bottlenecks that exist in various agencies. Whether it’s avoiding the lengthy paperwork or eliminating long-queues for permit processes during business hours, PermitTrax helps government agencies to quickly jump on the e-permitting bandwagon and provide better service to their citizens.
The PermitTrax suite also includes Citizens Connect, a public access portal designed to help citizens interact with agencies in a better way. The portal allows citizens to apply for permits online, check the permit status, upload documents and plans, and view permit information. The Citizens Connect module is highly configurable as to what the citizen can see and have access to, and it can also be sectioned off by departments and configured to guide citizens during any process. Besides this, the portal allows citizens to schedule inspections online based on permit type.
For the agencies, also included with the PermitTrax suite a mobile application that helps in conducting in-field inspections. “We have developed PermitTrax Mobile as an iOS application that connects directly to PermitTrax and allows real-time updates for inspectors in the field.
The application offers a visual representation of jurisdictions to help avoid mistakes when issuing land use permits,” Jorgensen explains. Besides, the system has built-in geographic information system (GIS) capabilities, and various tools for reporting, data extraction, email notifications, inter-departmental communications, and integration with electronic plan review.
My emphasis in life has always been on making things simpler and efficient
Built using Microsoft.NET technologies, the solution utilizes new Web 2.0 technologies to provide a simplified interface and a quicker response time to the user. Also, by using the built-in permit statistics page, users can view the overall status of what is being processed within PermitTrax and then easily drill-down to each permit type. Whether it’s building permits, business licenses, pre-application meetings, right of way permits, pet licensing, contractor licensing, health permits, public records request, or water and sewer permits, PermitTrax takes care of them all.
"PermitTrax is offered as a complete application suite with no add-on module costs to the user and is charged at the same flat rate for all updates, maintenance releases, and support"
While other vendors charge thousands and even millions for their products, the most significant differentiators for Bitco Software is their pricing model. “PermitTrax is offered as a complete application suite with no add-on module costs to the user and is charged at the same flat rate for all updates, maintenance releases, and support,” states Jorgensen. “This has helped us expand our customer base to a lot of smaller jurisdictions,” he adds.
Plain Sailing Implementation
Bitco Software follows a proven, five-step methodology for system implementation. The first step involves analysis of the business, creation of the plan, and data gathering required for customization of the business processes. This is followed by software installation and configuration of the system as per user requirements. After testing all the elements in the implementation step, Bitco conducts a mock-live test phase to make sure that all processes work as designed, without any glitch. At this stage, the company trains the clients’ staff on implemented processes and the application’s usability. After completing the implementation process and the validation of configuration for accuracy, Bitco moves all the information into a live environment.
As the last step, the company provides continued support, resources, and expertise to assist the staff post- Implementation.
Outperforming Competitors with a Customer-Centric Approach
Simplicity, ease of use, and efficiency have made PermitTrax a favorite of multiple counties and government agencies in the U.S. “Our customers speak on behalf of our success and track record. We have many new customers coming to us because of their trust in the software,” states Jorgensen. One of them is the City of Cheney, Washington. “I want to thank Jorgensen for making Cheney’s transition to PermitTrax so painless! The data conversion was clean and complete, and setting up PermitTrax to incorporate our forms and processes was quick and easy,” said Susan Beeman, GIS/Permit Technician at the City of Cheney. The solution facilitated communication between multiple departments and allowed them to work together effectively for the common citizen. “PermitTrax’s clean and intuitive user interface allowed users to navigate the system comfortably in a minimal amount of time,” Susan added. By using dynamic links to the L&I database and to the county’s GIS records, PermitTrax cut the county’s permit processing time dramatically, helping them process permits in roughly one-third of the time compared to their previous solution. As a result, the city expanded its use of PermitTrax beyond construction permits and business licenses to incorporate numerous types of access permits, commercial landscape disposal permits, hydrant water use, and code enforcement cases. “Having all our plan reviews and inspections visible from one location is great! We especially like the ability to “associate” permits from various departments or divisions so that you can see all the current permitting activities related to development at a single address,” Susan added.
The City of Des Moines, Washington, is another city that has utilized the full potential of PermitTrax. Apart from using the Citizens Connect portal, the city also allotted a separate section to the public works departments so that they can do right-of-way permits for the public.
Fuelled by such success stories, Bitco Software is currently working on releasing a permit tracking solution for small cities. “It’s going to be a solution that cities can use according to their convenience, and it will cost them as low as 100 dollars per month,” says Jorgensen. Initiatives like these stem from the user feedback Bitco receives on a daily basis. The company even has a user conference every September, where the aim is to incorporate innovations as per the market needs and customer demands. In the end, Bitco Software is channeling all these efforts to power their vision of “bringing software and government together,” for years to come.