Construction firms often focus solely on improving internal communications and overlook the value of building strong relationships with their other project partners. Communications between contractors and the architects and engineers handling the design work can be particularly challenging due to varying levels of formality, variations in terminology and notation techniques and use of differing software platforms. Yet, without clear communication between the various partners, a project is destined to develop delays, inflated costs and other issues.
The construction request for information (RFIs) is a common tool used routinely when a contractor needs more information from the client, architects or engineers than what’s covered in the contract. While these requests should flow smoothly and require little effort to formulate or answer, that’s far from the reality for most construction firms.
With an average of 9.9 RFIs for every $1 million worth of construction on the global level and nearly 800 RFIs per individual project, it’s clear that these requests aren’t going anywhere.
Understanding what complicates the construction RFI process is the first step in improving a company’s approach to them. Once a firm has determined why their contractors are struggling to get information from clients, architects, engineers and other project partners, there are many actionable techniques for getting measurable improvements on RFIs within months.