Construction teams are constantly bogged down with time consuming and costly RFI’s. Managing and dealing with RFI’s takes a ton of time, and let’s face it, is not the most glamorous task. According to research by Navigant Consulting, the average construction project has roughly 796 RFI’s. What would happen if you could not only manage the process better but actually work towards minimizing this high number of RFI’s?
With the following new features in BIM 360, we are thrilled to start reducing the number of RFI’s through enhanced design reviews as well as strengthen the overall management of RFI’s by connecting the office to the field.
But RFI’s are not the only cause of schedule delays or cost overruns. The lack of productivity and rework are key culprits in missing milestone dates or exceeding project budgets.
Here is a roundup of the most recent BIM 360 releases that help teams solve some of these daily struggles:
- Design Risk Management
- Create & Search RFI’s on Mobile
- Additional Attributes & Enhanced RFI Email
- Cost Management Workflow Enhancements
- Document Collaboration Enhancements
- Analytics & Reporting Enhancements
- Unauthorized User Support
Let’s first take a deeper dive into some of the new features that can help solve the influx and pain involved with construction RFI’s:
1. Design Risk Management
We know that the number of RFI’s on any given project is a problem. But if when you step back and examine where these RFI’s are coming from, you will start to find that many of the issues that lead to costly RFI’s during construction are flagged as being a result of a design error or missing information from initial design drawings or documents.
If teams had the transparency and tools they needed to address these design issues earlier in the process, not only would they have far fewer RFI’s to deal with during construction, but overall construction costs would drop significantly
With the release of BIM 360’s Design Risk Management capabilities, project teams can now use Construction IQ together with Document Management to predict and prevent costly problems such as code compliance issues, issues to critical building components and errors and omissions in design and documentation. By identifying and taking action on these problems early, project teams can reduce the number of RFI’s overall as well as prevent these issues from becoming time-consuming and costly changes or daunting litigation issues later in the project.
2. Create & Search RFI’s on Mobile
Working toward minimizing the overall number of RFIs is a more long-term solution. Teams need to be able to initiate an RFI as soon as a discrepancy is found. But that's not the case for field teams today. They are forced to use siloed applications and inefficient processes that can delay the cycle by hours or even days, which is critical when referring to on-going work. So how do we improve the workflow teams are using today?
The newest release of BIM 360 gives users the ability to create and search RFIs anytime, anywhere, directly from the BIM 360 mobile iOS app. Giving teams in the field the ability to instantly draft a question, include photos, and initiate an RFI is critical to improving efficiency and creating a seamless workflow between the office and the field.
3. Additional RFI Attributes & Enhanced RFI Email
Project management and design teams are buried in project documentation, spending several hours each day sorting through emails, markups, issues, RFI’s, etc. So, missing a critical issue that would likely cause a budget or schedule overrun is highly likely.
Not any longer! BIM 360 has added new standard attributes to RFIs, making it easier to identify and prioritize RFIs that have the biggest potential impact. Teams can now prioritize RFIs based on cost impact, schedule impact, or priority. And route RFIs based on discipline or category. Now teams can find the ‘needle in the haystack’ and limit the risk of large budget or schedule overruns.
BIM 360 has also enhanced the RFI email with a fresh redesign and more in-email data. Users can now review the question and supporting details to understand the action that needs to take place quickly.
Improving team efficiency can be an overwhelming struggle and streamlining workflows is essential. When it comes to technology, teams should focus on finding solutions that enhance their daily workflows rather than making them harder. Here are a few more recent BIM 360 updates that will help you supercharge your daily tasks:
1. Cost Management Workflow Enhancements
Cost and change management is a logical but sometimes complex process to navigate through. With our newest enhancements to the BIM 360 Cost Management module, we take the guesswork out of the process by providing users with a simple workflow that is easy to manage and fast to adopt. Some of the noteworthy improvements include:
- Workflow-Based Actions: Now, as users move cost items through the change process, BIM 360 provides selectable workflow-based actions to help advance them through the process and update the status accordingly. This simplifies the change management workflow by adding a level of 'automation' to the process.
- Flexible Generation of Supplier Change Orders (SCO): With the addition of workflow-based actions, the generation of SCOs at different phases of the change process is clear and straightforward. SCOs can be generated from a Potential Change Order (PCO), Request for Quote (RFQ), Request for Change Order (RCO), or Owner Change Order (OCO).
- Customized Tab Naming: Project Admins now have access to customize the default subtab names (Cost Items, PCO, RFQ, RCO, OCO, SCO) within the Change Order tab. This allows teams to avoid confusion and enhance their workflows.
- Fundamental Forecasting Functionality: As the first step to incorporating forecasting functionality into Cost Management new columns are available in the Budget & Contracts tab allowing teams to make forecast adjustments, view forecast final costs, and variable costs.
2. Document Collaboration Enhancements
Effective sharing and reviewing of documents is critical to maintaining team efficiency. With these new features in the BIM 360 Document Management module, users can improve the distribution, viewing, and organizing of project files and drawings.
- Markup Callout Arrow – Simple to use new markup tool that enables teams to click and drag a text box with a callout arrow.
- Show Folder Path Setting – New admin setting that allows viewers to see names of folders they do not have permission to view to easily understand folder hierarchy.
- Move Folders – Enables users to quickly move folders, along with all the files within each folder.
- PDF Enhancements – Users can now use Deep Zoom to easily capture relevant data, snap to a line when calibrating and measuring for quick measurements, and precisely align PDFs when comparing versions for an improved viewing experience.
3. Analytics & Reporting Enhancements
Visualizing your project data is more important than ever. The newest improvements to the BIM 360 prediction and analytics capabilities help teams capitalize on all of their project data to get quick snapshots of priority action items. New enhancements include:
- Inspection Risk Card - Powered by construction IQ, the data on this card highlights risk associated with project issues that are likely to cause projects to fail an inspection. This allows teams to address any of these issues prior to an inspection to avoid schedule delays and costly changes.
- Additional Partner Cards
- Localization of Reports - Reports are now available in 9 languages that other BIM 360 features already support including English, German, French, Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, Chinese, Japanese, Dutch, and Swedish.
- Issue Pushpin Support – When generating an issue report, users will now see a thumbnail view of where the issue is located if added directly to a drawing or model. This allows users to easily place where the issue is coming from without having to search back in the drawings and provides field teams more context making this much more action oriented.
4. Integration Cards
With the addition of two new integration cards for Assemble and BIM 360 Plan, users are able to save times by not having to jump from one product to the other and gives a consistent picture of where potential risks may arise.
- Assemble: The Assemble card can be added through the Card Library to any Insight or Project Home dashboard. With this card teams can view all quantity take off information, track work in progress (WIP) statuses, manage and create unified issues, as well as monitor the project budget.
- BIM 360 Plan: The Card Library now has 4 different cards that leverage the data from BIM 360 Plan including Percent Plan Complete Snapshot, Activity Gantt View, Activity Root Cause, and Weekly Activity Totals.
5. Pending User Assignments [Feature Coming Soon]
Staying on schedule is critical in construction and teams can’t waste time on tedious administrative tasks. Prior to this release, when a user was invited to a project, they could not have any tasks (i.e. Issues or RFI’s) assigned to them until they logged in and created an account. Rather than having to wait for new users to authenticate their access, Project Admins can now assign permissions directly when adding a new user. This saves teams a lot of time since they can take care of these setup items all at once.