What Is Double-Handling Data And What Your Construction Business Can Do To Avoid It?

We all know double-handling on construction projects can be wasteful. But did you know that it can be just as big of a problem in the office managing cost as it is out on projects?


If you’ve been in the construction industry for a while, you’ve likely heard of the term double-handling: doing the same thing twice. And if you’ve made this mistake, double-handling means more time spent and more money wasted.

The Problem with Double-Handling

For the construction industry, this might look like the following: an excavator digs up some dirt... it’s picked up by a wheel loader and dumped somewhere else, then picked up again and then dumped in its final destination.

Why not take it to its final destination the first time? It’s usually an issue with the schedule, access on the project, safety concerns, or waiting on other work to be completed. Double-handling is a big deal on projects and requires in-depth planning to be handled as efficiently as possible.

Double-handling is not only a problem in the field, it’s also just as big of a problem in the office. Data can be handled over and over within the office. Especially with accounting, we see double handling all the time when coding job costs and reconciling invoices or credit card statements (because of time-consuming processes to code costs to the correct places). Costs need to be accurately categorized to know where projects stand financially, then used later for estimating. However, you can’t see accurate costs within project budgets.

Let’s look at some common scenarios of how project and cost data is usually handled:

  1. When a project number is created and given a list of cost codes to categorize cost into the correct buckets.
  2. When project cost information is entered into payroll software, so if the payroll is weekly or bi-weekly, it goes to the correct place.
  3. When entering project cost information into project management or scheduling software.
  4. When an invoice comes in, assigning it to the right place, such as:
  5. Material/supplier contracts
  6. Small tools and supplies vendors (HD Supply, RAM Tool)
  7. Purchasing card/credit card invoices

As evidenced above, a project controller should have a purchasing process where budgets, each with its own cost codes, are set up at the beginning of the project. As transactions are made (for things like small tools, supplies, and fuel), that cost should be automatically assigned to the correct budget or cost code. This way, the data is only handled once when the project is set up, instead of each time an invoice or card statement comes in.

How to Avoid Double-Handling

How many times have you gotten a call from crews in the field asking about a purchase? What was it for? Who made the purchase? Where should it be coded? With Vendrix, the employee making the purchase puts in the correct budget or code right when making the purchase.

At Vendrix, we pride ourselves in helping our customers minimize the times they have to handle cost data associated with their purchasing process.

To start, we import all your necessary project cost information for you. Once set up, you assign purchases to budgets and respond to text messages with receipts. That means, no more going through massive invoices line by line to code each transaction, and no more waiting on employees to do expense reports.

When it comes to month-end job cost reporting, it often takes most of the month to input the right data to create a report. Late reporting takes away from the next month’s process. Vendrix helps with the majority of monthly costs by showing all your employees’ purchases across projects and budgets on the Vendrix platform in real-time as they happen (not at the end of the month). This allows you to easily make adjustments to ensure your projects are operating as efficiently as possible. Furthermore, you can do so on any device, in the office or in the field, as well as  export transactional data into your accounting software anytime.

When using a Vendrix card, your team member can simply select a budget for their transaction to be assigned to, pick a “not-to-exceed” amount for the card, and make a purchase. They’ll get a text from Vendrix asking to respond with a picture of the receipt.

By using Vendrix to set up users, roles, and budgets, and then using Vendrix cards for purchases, cost can be automatically expensed to the correct bucket. Little to no up-front work, and no back end reconciling. Most importantly, Vendrix eliminates double-handling for your construction business. Request a demo to learn more.