Tips on How to Write an RFI Effectively – RFI Management
An RFI, otherwise known as a request for information, is a common business practice used to gather written information in the construction industry. The RFI’s deal with the capabilities of different suppliers and are an important part of managing and reducing risk on a construction project. Writing these effectively is essential in ensuring a successful construction project so it is important that all managers and contractors work together in order to reduce risk.
Here are a few tips to help you get started on writing effective and informative RFI’s.
Follow an established format
Make sure you gather and write information in an established format. The pro forma RFI template is commonly used in the construction industry for subcontractors and consultants to raise issues. Mobile and Cloud-based software can help you manage the process and templates your company desires.
Be as specific as possible when writing and RFI. If you ask vague questions you will likely not receive the information that you need which will draw out the RFI process.
An RFI involves two parties so it is important to be considerate of the other. This fosters positive and long lasting partnerships within the construction industry.
Propose possible solutions
If you have a possible solution, voice it! This can help speed up the RFI process and resolve the problem as quickly as possible. Be careful in your wording though, proposing and recommending a solution are two different things.
Provide drawings and pictures when possible
Including photos or drawings when sending RFIs can be extremely helpful for the clarity of the RFI. Pictures give context to whatever question or issue has arisen and also help the individual receiving the RFI to better understand the question. This speeds up the overall RFI process so that a solution can be reached as quickly as possible.
When writing an RFI include whether it will result in any added time or costs. This helps to manage and mitigate risk within the project.
Limit the questions
If you ask too many questions in an RFI, it can cause confusion for everyone involved. Try to ask one specific question in order to ensure clarity. If there are multiple questions make sure they are necessary and related.
Give an appropriate amount of time to respond
Make sure that you set a time frame for when you need the RFI back. It is important to be considerate and give them an adequate amount of time to respond. The standard time frame is usually one to two weeks depending on the RFI. This can vary though, so be conscious of the amount of information you request and the amount of time you allow for a response.
Name all RFIs the same way
If you name all of your RFI files the same way, it will make them much easier to find when you need to search for them. This also keeps your RFIs better organized.
Follow these simple tips and you’ll be writing effective RFI’s in no time!