RFIs Overview

4 minutes
6 months ago

RFIs Overview

As a part of contract management, the RFIs activity center enables you to receive, review, track, and log RFIs electronically. You can log and track any question, answer, and electronic file transfers (whether done via Info Exchange, email, or a drag and drop site) as an RFI.

The RFIs activity center enables you to log RFIs and track them through to completion, whether the RFIs are coming is as part of the bid phase of the project or the construction phase.  By logging the questions, the email messages that are sent as part of the process of answering the question, and all actions associated with each RFI, Project Center plays an important role in tracking and resolving questions that arise during the project.

 

Use the RFIs activity center to:

  • Enter RFIs into the RFI log either by:

    • Creating the RFI if you originate submittals

    • Logging a received RFI if it was sent to you.

  • Manage the RFI log:

  • Sort the log by due date, received date, total days, etc.;

  • Quickly see which RFIs require attention;

  • Create RFI reports.

  • Forward an RFI to project team members or other contacts;

  • Record responses to RFIs;

  • Respond to the RFI author or simply close an RFI without a response;

  • Set project standards and create email/form templates to conform to your existing practice;

  • Receive automatic reminders for RFIs that are nearing their due date;

  • Associate email messages and supporting documents with an RFI (similar to submittals);

  • Select the action taken;

  • Sort and track RFIs by discipline and keywords.

RFIs have an Email Log for tracking email messages. Use it to view related email and file email messages sent among consultants, contractors, and the project team to an RFI.

Info Exchange support

Within Info Exchange, external project team members can send RFIs and answer RFIs that were forwarded to them for an answer. Internal project team members can answer and track RFIs using the full RFI log in Info Exchange, enabling them to track the RFI process via the web from any location.

Project Center users viewing the RFI log in Info Exchange will see the full log and all associated actions. Users logging into Info Exchange who are not Project Center users will only see the actions on which they are listed. These settings can be changed in the Project Roles and Permissions tab of the Modify Project Team Member dialog box.

General background information about RFIs

RFIs play a significant role in the construction administration phase of a project. Prior to this phase, a project’s focus is on creating the detailed design documentation, which includes drawings and construction specifications. The drawings and specifications are then distributed to general contractors (GCs) who bid on the job. The GC who wins the job is contractually obliged to deliver a building that adheres to the guidelines defined in the drawings and specs. But many of these guidelines are loosely defined and require input from the sub-contractors during the construction administration phase to be finalized.

This is where the formal RFI process comes in. RFIs are received by the architect from the general contractor. They are logged and either answered by the recipient (architect), or most likely assigned to a consultant for an answer. RFIs are usually related to a specific discipline (Mechanical, Electrical, Architectural, etc.), so the consultant with domain expertise in the RFI’s discipline is usually forwarded the RFI. At any point during the process, if you want to capture an internal classification of the RFI, enter the classification as a keyword.

When the architect receives the answer to the RFI, the answer is logged, and then the architect responds to the author of the RFI. The action is typically either answered or not answered.

The following chart shows an overview of the RFI process:

Project Center enables you to effectively log RFIs and track them through their final answer. The RFIs activity center provides a mechanism to track the status of active RFIs throughout the question and answer cycle. By logging the files, email messages, and actions associated with each RFI, Project Center plays an important role in settling any conflicts that inevitably arise during or after construction. The reporting functionality can capture the RFI status for use in customer or client meetings.