5 Tips For Managing RFIs

Feel like you’re talking to yourself?

How to ask questions and get responses with these 5 tips for managing RFIs.

Delays are awful.  Whether there are long lines at the airport or trouble at the construction site, we want to avoid delays at all costs. However, some things are beyond your control and delays happen. RFIs (requests for information) help contractors get timely information to keep the project on schedule.  But what happens when you ask a question and don’t get a response?  For construction professionals, wasted time means wasted money.  We need to make sure our RFIs are answered in a timely manner so that we can do our jobs.  But how?

Here are 5 tips I’ve learned over the years, some from personal experience and some directly from customers:
1. Standardize the medium used to ask questions.  Whether you use paper, fax, email, or an online submission process, keep it simple and make sure everyone submits in the same manner. 2. Stay organized!  Once the question is answered, don’t just toss the RFI in a stack of papers.  Record the response, and safely store thedocument in a classified system of organization.  Ask Dewey Decimal if you have any questions! 3. Ensure that due dates are known, and that individuals are held accountable for responding.  Many of my customers have professed their love for BuildingBlok’s document logs because they automatically store the RFI and its associated response.  And if an RFI is still in review, you know who it is assigned to, and how many days they’ve held it. 4. Keep everyone in the loop.  Whether you have a group email chain, share a Google doc, or invite everyone onto your online software, make sure all parties are involved.  Never again must you hear “I never saw that RFI”! 5. Don’t sweat it!  If you followed the above 4 steps, everything should fall into place.  Your project should experience less delays because you took the necessary steps to keep the flow of information simple and transparent!

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