We hope you gained some valuable insights from part 1 of our guide. Now we’re back with part 2!
In the first part of this series, we gave you five tips to improve your RFI process. These included early communication and the importance of using cloud-based construction software to eliminate mistakes and wasted time. If you haven’t already, we encourage you to check them out, and here are four more tips to boost your efforts.
A Quick Recap: What is an RFI and why is it important?
A Request for Information (RFI) is a step in the pre-construction process that lets you know what a project entails before it starts. We’re constantly dealing with change in the construction industry, making RFIs key to clarifying and managing important details about a project. It ensures everyone involved has the latest information and knows what needs to be done onsite.
Without an RFI in place before project kick-off, it’s very easy to miss out on key information regarding costs, schedules, design, and more. In some cases, insufficient planning can mean a longer-than-expected process, which can lead to missed construction deadlines.
How to Upgrade Your RFI Process: Four more tips
Here are more tips in addition to the four in part 1 of our guide:
- Be careful (and flexible) with your due dates – Adhering to due dates is pivotal—but a lot can happen to cause a delay. For example, certain RFIs might require more information, labor may be scarce during winter months, or you may need to get more permits or approvals. Whatever the case, expectations around deadlines must be clear. Even so, this is where flexibility comes into play. Adapt to early projections as appropriate to ensure the established due dates are realistic and confirmed.
- The more organized you are, the better – Remember, the RFI is an opportunity to ensure a detailed and organized approach to the project. This includes establishing which team members need to complete each task, how long each phase of the project will take, and who is responsible if deadlines are not met.
- Review responses to make sure they are transparent – For a successful outcome, all stakeholders must understand their intended responsibilities, what materials are needed, and how much time is available. If there are any concerns, get clarification. Reviewing responses helps to ensure that everyone is on the same page and prevents delays and rework. When costs are involved, ensure calculations are shown and specific. Even if no substantive changes to pricing are expected, each RFI response must contain its own unique cost estimations. This way, if one component of the project runs over budget, it won’t affect other aspects of the project. Effective communication can prevent serious budget problems down the line.
- Constantly update the RFI process – Organizations evolve, new tools become available, employees come and go… your RFI process should be as flexible as your business and its goals. To stay ahead of the curve, regularly review the way you run RFIs: once a month, or quarterly—whatever works for you. As part of your review, listen to suggestions from the entire team. Consider sending out a survey to other managers (and departments) to see what they think of your system. The more information you collect, the more useful any changes you make will be.
The construction industry is moving towards full digitalization. To ensure you keep pace with the competition, you need to be able to communicate quickly and effectively. Assessing your RFI process is essential, including whether it’s time to move them to the cloud (short answer: yes!) and which processes can be automated.
When your software does the heavy lifting, you have more time to dedicate to new projects that will build your reputation and help your company grow.
How eSUB Can Help
eSUB is a cloud-based project management platform built especially for subcontractors. It seamlessly integrates with leading construction software systems so you can easily switch from your current RFI process to a cloud-based system.
eSUB organizes all of your project information in one place, allows for smooth collaboration, and streamlines communication through its intuitive interface. It also works on your mobile, so you can track projects on the go—no matter where or when—and stay up-to-date.
If you’re interested in using cloud-based construction software to upgrade your RFI process, and more, schedule a demo to learn how eSUB can help.