Requests for information (RFI) often cause headaches for professionals in the construction industry because, if not managed properly, they can cost time and money on the job site. This article discusses how to handle a standard construction RFI in a timely and efficient manner.
What is a standard construction RFI?
During the RFI process, a contractor collects and circulates project details in order to estimate project costs, learn the capabilities of various suppliers, foster vendor competition and stay on track with job materials, designs, specifications, plans and contracts.
An RFI is usually required when it comes to clarifying the process flow of a particular task, modifying project specifications or rectifying a project error. Essentially, this preliminary document is a way to filter potential project partners before sending a more specific request for proposal.
Ways to streamline the RFI process
The construction RFI process may sound simple, but it can become complicated and drawn out if the following guidelines aren’t followed:
- Consider using a standard RFI form. Using a standardized template that is clear and conclusive promotes easy coordination in obtaining the right project information quickly.
- Do your best to be detailed and brief. Clearly communicate your objectives and expectations. This will help avoid confusion and the need to resend RFIs.
- Provide guidelines for responses. You want responses to be complete and accurate.
- Know that timing is everything. When you submit an RFI matters if you want a timely response. Start the process as soon as possible.
RFIs play a crucial role in making operations go smoothly on the job site. Following the tips above will help you speed up and improve the construction RFI process for your project.