Say Goodbye to Inefficient RFIs: 5 Ways to Speed Up the Process 

accelerate rfis in construction 2024

Requests for information—RFIs—are a crucial part of today's construction process, but they are notoriously time-consuming and expensive.  

Research from Navigant Construction Forum found that there's an average of 9.9 RFIs for every $1 million of contract value. In addition, we found that the average response time for RFIs is 9.7 days

Without the right tools and processes to streamline RFIs, projects face delays, cost overruns, and reduced productivity. So, if you're thinking of 2024 goals for your projects be sure to add "take control of your RFIs" to your list.  

Not sure where to start? 

Here are five ways to speed up your responses with RFIs in Autodesk Build

Want to know more about managing construction projects in Autodesk Construction Cloud? Attend our Ask Me Anything on March 19 with our product experts.


1. Customize RFI Workflows with Multiple Reviewers 

Ideally, RFIs are answered quickly, but often, delays happen when questions are intricate or require input from various disciplines. In these instances, you often need to find the right people to weigh in—which can bog down the RFI process.  

The good news is that if you're an Autodesk Build user, you can leverage multiple reviewers in RFIs to loop in all relevant stakeholders.  

Multiple reviewers enable you to customize your workflows and have various stakeholders review the RFI simultaneously. This results in more comprehensive and well-rounded responses without delaying the process. 

See it live here.  

2. Set Default Fields for Each RFI Type 

The faster you submit the RFI, the sooner it gets resolved. One of the best ways to speed up the RFI process is to automate manual or tedious tasks.  

For example, when creating and editing RFI types in Autodesk Build, Project Administrators can now set default values for fields like Managers, Watchers, Reviewers, Due Date, and more. That way, you and your team won't have to enter the info for each RFI manually. You can submit RFIs faster and move the project forward.  

Plus, you can apply these settings at the project level, leading to a standardized process and more time savings.  

3. Capture the Most Relevant Information with Custom Fields 

No two construction projects are the same. Often, you need to collect specialized information like site-specific requirements or material specs to answer an RFI. If that information isn't gathered at RFI creation, teams need to go back to collect it. As you can imagine, all that back-and-forth causes delays.  

Enter Custom Fields for RFIs in Autodesk Build.  

This feature allows you to set up customized fields to obtain all the necessary info when creating an RFI. As such, reviewers get more relevant context, and they can address RFIs faster and more accurately. 

And just like with Default Fields, Custom Fields can be implemented at the project level to save time and increase standardization.  

Learn more about Custom Fields

4. Create RFIs Directly from Markups or Issues on Mobile 

Imagine you're doing a jobsite walk-through with your superintendent, and you spot an issue. With RFIs on mobile, you can take a photo or video, mark up a sheet, and then create an RFI immediately. 

This ensures you submit the RFI when an issue or concern is still top of mind. And thanks to the platform's mobile-friendly features, you’re able to send the RFI on the go rather than waiting to be at your desk. 

Beyond expediting your processes, RFIs on mobile empower everyone—from field engineers to superintendents—to submit questions. This breaks down communication silos and gets RFIs started faster. 

With Autodesk Build on mobile, you can view, create, and respond to RFIs directly from your device. The mobile app also lets you create an RFI from a Markup or Issue so you can begin the RFI process no matter where you are. 


5. Include External Collaborators 

Some RFIs may require external specialists to weigh in. These folks are typically involved in the project but aren't one of the main collaborators. 

With Autodesk Build, you can bring in external collaborators so all communication and RFI-related activities are kept in one platform.  

This feature lets you assign collaborators to the RFI based on their role—i.e.,  reviewers, co-reviewers, or watchers. Simply enter their email, and external collaborators will receive a message about the RFI. If they are ball-in-court, all they need to do is reply to the email directly and their response will be recorded. If they’re the only reviewer or last reviewer left, it will automatically change the RFI item's status

If the external collaborator needs to submit relevant attachments with their responses, they can attach the files to their email response. Those attachments will automatically be uploaded into Autodesk Build and included in the RFI. 

Learn more about RFI notifications and replies

Manage RFIs Effectively with Autodesk Build 

RFIs should move projects forward, not hold them back. In 2024, make it a point to simplify your RFI process and enhance project efficiency. Set up streamlined processes and encourage collaboration to minimize delays and deliver higher-quality projects.  

Autodesk Build can help you do just that. Learn more about our platform and see how it can help you stay on top of all your RFIs

Shai Friling

Shai Friling is an experienced product manager with over 7 years of working with product teams. In the past 2 years, he serves as a Product Manager in the Autodesk Construction Solutions Project Management Product Group, where he leads the product roadmap of RFIs.