Submittal and RFI workflows pose significant challenges to project productivity. The process of contract administration, albeit a necessary task, can be difficult and time-consuming for even the most organized of project teams, with larger projects generating thousands of Submittals and hundreds of RFIs.
The rapidly evolving and ever-changing landscape of the AECO industry has put a lot of strain on the relationship between various stakeholder groups, putting a premium on the need for rapid and accurate communication.
Architects and engineers must quickly process and resolve RFIs and Submittals to maintain their tight deadlines and keep costs within budget, while general contractors are looking to cover their bases and ensure proper project quality on the ground.
Needless to say, it can be a tad overwhelming even in the best of times.
Banking On Time
Optimizing the contract administration workflows of a given project is easier said than done.
Submittal and RFI processing move across multi-company systems, rather than one holistic, automated system. It necessitates human intervention to upload, download and re-enter information across systems, and human intervention is sadly prone to human error. As a result, information can be incomplete, inaccurate or contain errors that erode trust between parties.
The most successful projects have RFI and Submittal workflows that are processed and dealt with in a timely manner, ensuring that project quality and timeline are not jeopardized. Any lag in the communication or sharing of an RFI can result in multiple issues like reworks, safety issues, increased costs and schedule delays.
All of those outcomes will start a never-ending blame game, eroding stakeholder trust and project coordination.
Finally, when attempting cross-platform information sharing, Submittals may turn up incomplete or contain inaccurate information, which creates lengthy back-and-forths between parties to organize revisions and resubmittals.
Similarly, poorly written or unclear RFIs can cause significant friction between design teams and contractors, as the lack of clarity will require teams to dig deeper and waste more time trying to figure out the nature of the request before processing it. This can result in lengthy delays in obtaining the necessary information or incorrect interpretations, potentially leading to construction errors or project delays.
Optimizing RFI & Submittal Workflows with Project Information
With tighter deadlines and more rigid budgets than ever before, the pressure continues to mount in the AECO industry, as teams scramble to keep up with the growing complexities of each individual project. It’s prompted the industry to look for solutions to reduce the high number of billable hours such as cloud-based contract administration.
Leveraging construction project management platforms like Newforma Konekt helps project teams automate their contract administration process, significantly reducing human error and review times.
The optimization of a project’s contract administration has been a major help to the AECO industry in general, helping firms:
- Reduce manual administrative work of uploading and downloading files.
- Reduce the number of emails for the review cycle.
- Display transparency on workflow / ball-in-court.
- Track high-priority, items coming due and overdue items.
For example, with Newforma Konekt, architects can file emails directly from their Microsoft Outlook client as a submittal or RFI. They have the ability to extract the relevant information from an email, including any attachments or pictures, and auto-populate them within the project record.
By using such a feature, architects can eliminate the risk of duplicate data entries and save firms from the time-consuming manual tasks of logging each RFI one by one from their inbox.
And even if there is a snag where the various stakeholders are unsure or confused about a certain aspect of the project, a central hub of information like Newforma Konekt would allow users to see the workflow and history of each individual Submittal or RFI.
Forget having to go through the hassle of looking through thousands of emails to uncover one minor detail, as project information platforms empower users with robust aggregate search and filtering functions to help them quickly extract what they need to keep the project moving seamlessly.
Project Information Management In Action
Michael Petrovick Architects PLLC, a thriving architectural firm based in Amesbury, Massachusetts, expertly manages multiple projects concurrently, earning a stellar reputation throughout New England. They too sought to optimize their contract administration.
They looked into the adoption of a single source of truth that could help them unify all strands of project information into a neat and user-friendly experience for all stakeholder groups involved in their project.
That’s when they found Newforma Konekt.
Within minutes, the firm was able to transform its document filing process, streamlining its efficiency in filing and processing each RFI and Submittal, all while keeping its various partners in the know at all times.
By centralizing their access to information within a single hub, they bid farewell to cumbersome spreadsheets and disarrayed documents, resulting in a savings of 6-8 minutes per RFI or Submittal processed.
The firm then took that newfound time and allocated to new projects, unlocking new revenue opportunities and avenues to further improve the firm’s reputation.
Learn More About Project Information Management
Today’s modern workflows require modern solutions to speed up the process, even when we’re not sitting near our desks or, more importantly, on the field tending to urgent matters.
Learn more about Newforma Konekt and see how you can optimize your time to take on more projects and improve your pipeline.