Construction RFI or the Request for Information is an essential part of the construction process. An RFI in construction management is an official form that’s often written by a general contractor or sometimes a subcontractor to ask for details anytime within the construction stages. An RFI is written to clarify any information that pertains to (but not limited ) design drawings, specifications, standards, and contracts.
At first glance, RFI’s sound simple in definition, after all, it’s questions in a written form asking for answers but in reality, RFI’s are anything but simple. RFI’s are time-consuming, detail driven and can cost a lot of money and if not done properly can take a toll on a company’s bottom line. In fact, in a study done by Navigant in an analysis of over 1300 construction projects all over the world that had over 1 million RFI’s found out it cost an average of $1080 per RFI to read, write, and respond to, and takes about 10 days to read, analyze and respond.
And with this in mind, consider the fact in an average construction project that lasts a year, you can expect around 270 RFI’s to be written and answered, and can go up to 1400 for a project that lasts up to 5 years.
Anybody who has worked in construction would be quick to tell you that it’s sometimes better for them to get a root canal than work on an RFI. But, although cumbersome, RFI is an integral part of any construction business, and there is no way of escaping it. The good news is that technology in the form of a construction rfi tracking software can help you stay on top of RFI’s and help you keep your sanity.
RFI TRACKER SOFTWARE
RFI tracker software as the name implies is software packages that allow you to keep track of RFI’s. These software platforms can be stand-alone packages or can be part of a construction project management software solution. But regardless of which one you choose, a project management software RFI will certainly make making RFI’s easier.
A rfi management software helps in eliminating paper documents which can easily get lost and makes sure that RFI’s are organized and stored safely. A neatly organized RFI will make it easy for the general contractor, engineer or whoever is in charge of answering it easy to find.
An RFI tracker software also allows you to track all the RFI’s as well as the communications involved in closing each RFI. The email trail of back and forth communications for each RFI is tracked and the full history of every RFI can be recalled and reviewed should the need arise in the future.
A good RFI tracker software will sort all RFI’s depending on if they’ve been read which makes it easier to see which RFI’s have not been given attention yet. Users can also view the status of each RFI, increasing transparency and giving everybody involved real-time updates.
And while RFI’s might still have to write lengthy, and time-consuming answers to each RFI, at least now, you’ll be confident that each RFI will be given the attention that it deserves and, who knows, you might even grow to like it.