January 8, 2021

2020: Continued Rapid Growth Despite a Pandemic

Ron Bertasi

For those of you have been following my year-end blog updates, this will sound familiar: 2020 was another year of rapid growth at GIS WebTech!

GIS WebTech Customer Growth

Like all businesses, we were impacted by the pandemic, but thanks to the resilience of our team and the remarkable flexibility of our technology we wrote another chapter in our growth story.

And what a story it has been! Over the last five years we have achieved a compound annual growth rate of 113%, as illustrated in the chart to the left. This means that we have more than doubled in size, on average, for five consecutive years, making our company the fastest growing provider by a wide margin. It also means we are now one of the largest providers of technology for economic development.

So let’s take a look at some of our highlights for 2020.

We signed our first Canadian customer, kick-starting our international expansion.

We began providing Esri’s ArcGIS Online and Business Analyst in a seamless, integrated package with our Recruit technology, making GIS WebTech the only provider offering a complete GIS solution.

We maintained the industry’s highest customer retention rate. You can count on one hand the number of customers that have switched from GIS WebTech in our company’s entire history – and still have several fingers left over.

We signed customers in multiple new states and now serve economic development organizations representing 1 in 5 Americans.

We signed new partnerships to help our economic development clients source drone imagery and drone video, assist their local businesses in reconfiguring space to work safely during the pandemic, and license property listing data.

How did we continue this growth story in 2020, despite the pandemic?

Three things made all the difference.

First, our Recruit technology already contained the functionality to integrate all five components of a comprehensive virtual site visit. Unlike legacy technologies, we did not have to scramble to add functionality to allow our clients to host virtual site visits, or worse, ask clients to accept simple Google Earth imagery in place of a true virtual site visit.

As the pandemic took hold in the spring and interest in virtual site visits exploded, our technology and our team were ready. And our clients benefited with a major source of competitive advantage.

Second, our team worked closely with clients to take full advantage of Recruit’s remarkable flexibility and adapt their use of technology to the pandemic. No GIS WebTech customers were left wondering how the pandemic would affect use of their online sites and buildings app and what they should do about it!

Third, we recognized the extraordinary circumstances and performed a huge amount of pro-bono work in support of economic developers across the United States and Canada. At the onset of the pandemic our team overhauled our website in record time and offered free economic impact planning reports for any community that requested one. By summer our team had sent out over 700 free reports to economic developers, local officials, and non-profits. But that was not all. We assisted economic developers in executing and analyzing business surveys on short notice, and used our GIS skills to produce visual displays of the data that were then shared with local political leaders and used to educate the public and the media.

By now you’ve probably noticed that none of the three major drivers of growth in 2020 was a sales initiative. Instead, they reflect our commitment to technology leadership, customer service, and the profession we serve.

These commitments form the cornerstone of our business, and we believe they are the ultimate drivers of our success.

2021 is shaping up to be another great year, and like you, we are excited to see the end of the pandemic in sight.

We have some exciting initiatives we will be launching, so keep an eye on this space and our LinkedIn posts. And of course, feel free to reach out to me at any time if you would like to learn more.

Lastly, I want to thank our staff for their dedication and our clients for their continued trust in us. As I have written before, I am blessed to lead an organization and serve a client base that combine to make my job fun and exciting, and I look forward to another record year in 2021!

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