What Inspired Me To Start Vendrix: The Story Of My Time Using A Travel Card On A Job For The Spillway Of The Oroville Dam Crisis

My biggest frustration was with SAP Concur, for whatever reason none of my charges would show up in the dashboard for me to code until 3-5 days after I had swiped the card. Vendrix moves the expense process to before the transaction, meaning I create the purchase while I am standing in line, or when I pull up to the pump or before I jump in my car. This takes the same amount of time as it does to call an Uber but saves SO much time on the backend. Vendrix is a welcome addition to your workflow.

Hi there, I’m David Stewart, Co-founder of Vendrix. The story of how I co-founded Vendrix starts in the summer 2017. It’s a summer I will always remember because I had just passed my P.E. (professional engineer) exam in Colorado. I was a Structural Engineer for Kiewit Infrastructure Engineers. We had just won the bid to perform the emergency repairs on the Oroville Dam Spillway. The spillway had failed in February  and I was tasked with performing quality assurance (QA) / quality control (QC) on some of the tens of thousands of new anchor rods (shown in purple in the graphic above).

The Trouble with Traditional Expense Reporting

While I was in Oroville, I was expensing my hotel, car rental, and meals on my corporate travel card because I was only on the project for 6 weeks. However, even though charges were happening daily (and the center console of my rental car was a mess with receipts), my charges wouldn’t show up on SAP Concur, our expense management system for 3-5 days after I swiped my card. After working a 10-12 hour day, the last thing I wanted to do was an expense report, not to mention having to reconcile a pile of receipts.

This got me thinking, “why can’t I expense at the same time that I make a purchase?” and “Why can’t I control my card with my smartphone?”

Creating a Better Corporate Card for Construction

Fast forward three years, I made the decision to leave construction and start Vendrix. Together with my co-founder, Joe Turner, we had one goal — to create a better corporate card for construction. It was important for us that the industry have a credit card that was mobile first and gave contractors access to technical innovations— Something we hadn’t seen done before.

With Vendrix, the expense process is completed even before the transaction. Contractors can give team members a corporate card, then pre-set the budget for their team, assign permissions depending on role, and manage costs when purchase is made. See it in action in this video:

It’s incredibly easy to create a purchase and fund the card quickly. This process would have saved me countless hours (and headaches) at Oroville. Request a demo to see the full potential Vendrix’s corporate cards and expense management platform can offer your construction company. We'd love to hear from you.