RFI Software for Construction Management

Construction RFI management has long been a stress-point for project managers and company leaders that are loathe to spend time and money on them with no guarantee they’ll get anything in return.

BuildingBlok’s construction management software solutions take a frustrating part of running a construction business and make it a far more efficient process, ultimately reducing associated project management costs to keep a healthier bottom line.

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Construction webapp rfi

Understanding RFIs in Construction Project Management

The RFI serves as a business communication tool that collects and distributes information regarding the capability of a supplier or service provider. They’re essential in the early part of the construction phase, when companies are gathering information to create a quote, as well as in the final phase, when contractors and subcontractors may need more information about the building design, specs, or contracts. The RFI also serves as a guide on which steps to take next, which is why it’s essential to provide detailed, accurate, complete information to avoid costly mistakes later in the project.

Construction rfi

RFIs can take many forms, making them hard to track and manage - a fact that business owners know too well. For example, an RFI between general contractors and subcontractors who perform a specific job will look much different than an RFI between a general contractor and materials supplier.

They are not to be confused with similar reports, such as an RFP, RFQ, and RFT. An RFP (Request for Proposal) is often based on an RFI and focuses mainly on sourcing. RFQs (Requests for Quote) center on the cost of a chosen solution, while RFTs (Request for Tender) allow potential suppliers to submit a bid to supply goods or services.

Each of these terms may precede an RFI; knowing the difference can help companies avoid doing more work than necessary when preparing the request.

Cloud-based Solutions for the RFI Process

When you have the time and resources to complete RFIs correctly, you have a highly valuable part of the project management process for your construction company. The reality, however, is that RFIs are often mishandled, missing information, or used improperly by many team members involved in the project.

One study by Navigant Consulting looked at the volume of RFIs submitted across 1,362 projects spanning from 2001 to 2012. In total, more than 1.1 million RFIs were submitted, which equaled roughly 796 per project.

Construction tablet 2

The results were telling:
  • The average RFI review and response costs companies about $1,080, with a total cost of about $859,680 per project.
  • 13.2% of the RFIs fell into the “not justifiable” category, meaning the changes were either not considered or the requests had already been addressed in another method.
  • Project owners were largely to blame by not responding to RFIs in a timely manner and failing to provide a specific RFI process to set the right expectations for handling RFIs.

The good news is that there’s always room for improvement, and establishing a better way to review and respond to RFIs can go a long way in optimizing every construction job.

BuildingBlok’s construction management software takes the administrative hassle out of creating and filing RFIs, providing real-time data and the clarity your team needs to be operationally efficient. We make it easy to manage all information related to your construction project, with unlimited users and support, so every member of your team has access and understands how to work within the program.

How to Improve the RFI Process

Understanding the role and purpose of an RFI is the first step toward creating a document that is clear, concise, and can be utilized properly. BuildingBlok’s RFI management solutions put the following best practices into action to improve the way you handle RFIs and keep costs as low as possible.

RFI #17

  • Project:JCM Expansion
    Status:Completed
  • Created:08.02.18
    Created by:Jess Hill
  • Assigned to:Lee Young
  • Drawing #:JCM-14
    Spec Section:073113
  • Summary:Hardware for door 24
  • Question:There is a request to add a new card reader to door 24. What model?
  • Responder:Lisa Davis (Engineer)
  • Response:Zythe 7653-A
Construction webapp rfi log

Respond to RFIs Quickly

Investing your time wisely is everything when it comes to handling RFIs. Take your time when submitting an RFI, as rushing through it often results in confusing documentation. Know when an RFI needs to be submitted and dispatch it as soon as possible. The earlier you submit it, the stronger the chance that project timeline can remain in-tact. Our software for RFI construction management allows you to easily view a document’s status and keep your project on-track.

Construction Project Management

Any construction industry project requires the completion of smaller moving parts and tasks; the more you can standardize your procedures, the greater the chance you stand of having those moving parts working on the same goal.

Think about all the different methods and mediums that are involved in your current RFI process. Without a proper template or standard delivery method, you never know when RFIs are coming or going. Formats may vary from company to company, but a typical RFI should contain the objective, a timeline, deliverables, how the results will be evaluated, and payment conditions.

BuildingBlok helps you get specific on what you want the construction RFI management process to look like and how documentation is tracked, so your project team members can act accordingly. These streamlined and organized processes save time for everyone, making it easier to know the next steps without having to reinvent the wheel every time.

Activity

Avatar 4
Jen Stern 5 days ago

Uploaded file: "blueprint_floor_1.pdf"

Avatar 5
Ben Carter 1 day ago

Added Note: "New drawings are attached to RFI."

Avatar 6
Kim Davis 45 min ago

Marked RFI complete.

No RFIs
Create a RFIs for project approval.
Create RFI

Create RFI

Summary
Auditorium Sound System
Information Requested
Should these speakers be common area speakers?
Drawing #
A-01
Page #
A-01.A

RFI Log

RFI #1 – Auditorium Sound System

Provide Adequate Detail

Successful construction project management hinges on having all the details at the right time. Too often, RFIs fall flat because they don’t contain the right information. Make sure you’re asking the right questions and providing context into your request. It’s better to provide too much information than not enough, especially when you’re working against a deadline. Our web-based applications give you all the details you need at your fingertips and at-a-glance. Review RFIs associated with any project, whether you’re at your desk or on-site.

Use Easily Accessible Digital Tools

Traditionally, RFIs were developed as pen-and-paper spreadsheets, but modern technology is making a strong case to digitize your paper trail and embrace document management platforms. Construction management software made specifically to meet your business’ needs changing the way companies manage every aspect of RFIs while saving time, money, and errors that could delay or complicate projects.

Cloud-based project management software makes it easy to put the other three best practices into motion at scale. Centralizing all of your construction documents is the single most efficient way to streamline communications and fulfill RFIs without going through an extensive search effort for information. Information is updated by your project team members in real-time so you always have the most accurate set of data to pull from.

And when you don’t have to keep customers waiting longer than necessary, you can enjoy greater peace of mind and business relationships.

Approval Chain

Avatar 4
Jen Stern

Project Manager - Approved

Avatar 5
Ben Carter

Architect - Approved

Avatar 6
Kim Davis

Owner - In Review

Unlimited Users

Whether you have one project manager or hundreds of contractors, BuildingBlok Construction Software caters to all. Add unlimited users with no hidden fees or extra costs. Best of all, there’s no need for users to share accounts, so everyone’s data remains safe and secure.

Unlimited Projects

BuildingBlok software scales as your business grows. Manage all your projects within the platform for a single price and never have to compromise on storage space.

Unlimited Support

Good support shouldn’t come at a premium. Get unlimited, ongoing help whenever you need it — all at no additional cost to you. Our construction experts ensure that there are no software questions or issues that stand between you and doing business.

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