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Building a Better Construction RFI

Ty Witmer, CEO/ President

Like most construction project management systems, can track Requests for Information (RFIs). However, what makes a better RFI tracking system is the ability to customize the form to fit the needs of each stakeholder on the project. If the goal is to improve collaboration on the project, then the PM system needs to work for everyone involved, not just the general contractor. allows each company on the project to add the custom fields they need to any form, then selectively share those fields with the parties that need to see that information.

As an example, let’s say the second tier sheet metal supplier has a question regarding the sheet metal gauge to be used on a particular piece of ductwork. He likes to categorize his RFI’s a certain way: Affecting Shop Fabrication or Affecting Field Installation. These categories are very important to his business, but they may be irrelevant to the other companies on the project. With, he can simply add that category field to the RFI form and keep the field private to his own company. In other cases, he may want to add a field to share information with his client, the mechanical contractor, but that information does not need to be shared with the general contractor. Likewise, the GC might want to add a field to be shared with the owner but no one else. Additionally, any user could add their own personal fields to keep track of reminders and other information as may be necessary.

“Why is the ability to add custom fields in so important? Because it saves money for all project participants.”

On most projects, one party specifies the PM system to be used, and they control access and configuration for everyone else. So while the system works great for the party in control, it does not address the needs of the other participants. Those participants are left redundantly entering information into another system so they can record and protect the information they need to manage their business. This duplication of effort is very costly for them.

This common scenario is also costly for the company specifying the system. That is because they are paying for subscriptions for their external collaborators. Although some PM system providers advertise “unlimited free collaborators” the reality is that the cost of those “free” subscriptions is built into their annual fee.

One of the keys to better project collaboration and communication on the project is to use a system that everyone on the team derives value from. If a system like that is selected, then the project participants will be more likely to use the system and the information contained within it will be more accurate.

As a bonus, let’s face it, project participants are not usually involved in just one project - hopefully, they are involved in many other projects as well. A distinct advantage of is that a user subscription includes unlimited projects. That means you can use it to connect to Project A, as well as Project B, Project C, etc. Then, because users are not limited to just one project, each party pays for their own subscriptions and one project is no longer absorbing the costs for everyone involved. This scenario is much better for all concerned.

To learn more about RFIs with visit