The architecture, engineering, and construction industry is undergoing a technological revolution that can be difficult to keep up with. Technology for architects and engineers has been around for some time now but has lagged behind for some of the most important players on the construction side – the project management team. The project management team is tasked with ensuring that a project is completed on time, within budget, and at a level of quality that goes above and beyond the owner’s expectations.
One of the most important responsibilities of the project management team is the management of RFIs (Requests for Information). RFIs are necessary to keep a project going. It is nearly impossible for an architect/engineer to have every detail on a plan sheet or even within a model. There will be things that fall through the cracks and that is why RFIs are necessary in construction. RFIs need to be accounted for step by step and constantly monitored to ensure that they are answered on time and asked/answered in such a way that leaves no room for ambiguity.
BIM 360 Build offers a cloud-based solution that is intuitive and ensures accountability across the life of an RFI. Prior to BIM 360, many contractors used Excel spreadsheets to log their RFIs and keep track of their status. Producing RFIs also involved using the company’s Excel RFI template, filling in each piece of information manually such as date, number, etc. and then exporting that Excel file as a PDF and attaching it to some sort of markup. After that the RFI drafter would have to send it out via email and the whole process would be back and forth via email. Multiply these steps over several RFIs and this results in a lot of time wasted.
With BIM 360 Build, the steps above are virtually eliminated. There is no need to email project members who are part of the RFI process, project members will automatically receive an email when the RFI has been assigned to them. If you’re asking: “what about project members who don’t have a say in the RFI but need to be aware of where the RFI stands and the answer?”. Those project members can be assigned to a “distribution list” and will receive an email notification when the RFI is officially answered. BIM 360 also keeps a log of all activity that went into the process of generating and completing an RFI so you can know the “who, what, when” for each respective step. The BIM 360 Build RFI process ensures accountability and helps to ensure that each RFI is answered on time.
The RFI video below covers the RFI process from the subcontractor all the way through the architect & engineer. This RFI story shows something that is happening in the industry each day: full collaboration from a project team with the goal of fixing an issue in order to help finish a job on time and within budget. Whether you work in project management for a general or sub-contractor, this is something that is relatable and relevant today, and in the future.
This is the first of a four-part workflows blog series. Over the next few weeks we will release RFI & Submittal workflow videos for BIM 360 Build as well as PlanGrid. Watch out for another blog post next week that will feature BIM 360 Build’s Submittals workflow! To learn more about how BIM 360 can work for you, request a discovery call today.