RFI Management

How to encourage an RFI response in construction

How to Encourage an RFI Response in Construction

With any given project, contractors and subcontractors are very likely to request for more information to make sure the job gets done correctly. A lagging response to an RFI means a project may become at risk of being delayed.  To get projects done more efficiently and take the best advantage of everyone’s time, learn how to encourage an RFI response from your contractor. This way, no time is spent waiting to find out valuable information that could potentially change the course of your project.

RFI’s are an important part of every construction project. However, in America, nearly 1 out of every 4 RFI in construction receives no reply at all. Receiving no response to an RFI could set your project behind, or leave you taking a wild guess on a particular task. In construction, each individual project can produce hundreds of RFI’s. The real question is, what can you do differently to reduce the response time of an RFI?

First, know when an RFI is going to be needed.

As soon as you recognize an uncertainty within your project, be sure to submit an RFI as soon as possible.  The earlier and RFI is sent out the sooner you will get a response, allowing you to move along smoothly with your project. Always try to submit an RFI when you need more information on:

— Clarification of how a task should be done

— How certain materials should be used and applied to the project

— Any modifications that need to be made on the project

— Missing or unclear data

— Lack of material quantity needed to complete the project

Secondly, don’t lose track of your RFI’s

If you are not keeping track of the RFI’s you have submitted, they could easily get lost amongst other paperwork and documentation surrounding each project. This could lead to you and your contractor forgetting about an RFI. Following up on RFI’s increase the chance of a quicker response time, this shows the contractor that the information is still needed and you haven’t simply forgotten about it; reducing the chance of getting no response at all on your RFI.

RFI’s don’t have to be as time-consuming and tedious as they presently are managed. One way to easily keep track of the status of your RFI’s is to implement a a software platform that is designed for this workflow and effectively organizes your RFI’s for you. Using a cloud-based system instead of paper documentation not only allows you to submit an RFI, but you can also keep track of all RFI’s you have submitted and their statuses over the course of the project. This can benefit your project immensely when projects take over a year to complete the number of RFI’s submitted during that time can add up to hundreds. A virtual filing cabinet would allow you to have all RFI’s in one place. Digitally storing RFI’s helps you to:

Organize which RFI’s have been resolved and which are still waiting for a response

Chronologically sort RFI’s so you can see which requests have been waiting for responses longer than others

Reduce the cost of physically documenting RFI’s on paper

Minimize the probability of an RFI getting lost or never receiving a response

Have easy access to all requests for information, proposals, or quotes


Keeping close track of your RFI’s is the most effective way to ensure that you get the response you need. Encouraging a response from your RFI could be as simple as sending a follow-up message on an RFI still awaiting responses. This will help you close the gap on how many days it takes to receive a response.  On average, it takes anywhere from eight to twelve days to receive an RFI response.  To reduce the chance of falling behind on your construction project, be sure to follow the points above and increase the organization of your RFI’s to ensure your project continues to go smoothly and on the right track to completion.


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