10 Minutes of Documenting a Day Will Keep the RFIs at Bay

Priyank Savla
February 4, 2020

RFIs are one of the most time-consuming — and oftentimes annoying — part of any construction project. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Site documentation is the key to shrinking the number of RFIs and change orders on your plate and keeping your projects on schedule with less desk work. 

Before you start thinking that the only thing as time-consuming as RFIs is documentation, think again. With a minimum of 10 minutes a day, you can gather all the documentation you need to keep every party informed and on schedule. 

Sound too good to be true? It’s not. With the latest technology, a simple walkthrough becomes an opportunity to capture 360º imagery from your jobsite, then upload them to a platform where the relevant parties can navigate the images as easily as they navigate Google Maps. With just minutes a day, you give everyone the ability to perform a virtual walkthrough of the jobsite. And, as a result, you dramatically slash the number of RFIs that inevitably appear.

Plan and coordinate with your team to prevent RFIs that lead to change orders 

Some construction delays are unavoidable. You can’t control the weather or the shipment logistics of materials. But you can control one of the biggest causes of both small and large delays: RFIs that lead to change orders. 

With consistent site documentation, you can plan and coordinate the efforts of all involved parties in advance and make that information available to everyone from the general contractor and subcontractors to the owner and architects. When a problem arises, site documentation can be the tool everyone uses to understand the issue and ask questions in a more timely manner. It also gives other related trades the ability to see what’s happening before they are onsite to coordinate or ask questions before work is in place.

In this way, you save everyone involved in the project both time and money. You minimize re-mobilizing — and the number of RFIs that lead to change orders. 

Get ahead of RFIs with StructionSite 

Documentation can make all the difference, especially when it drives collaboration. With a tool like StructionSite, it’s easy to keep all of the right parties informed with the relevant information that will allow them to best do their jobs. 

When an RFI is put in place to coordinate efforts before the work happens, updated and detailed documentation provides the necessary information to accurately address the RFI. And when the RFI comes after work is already underway, documentation provides robust visual information that gives decision-makers the data they need to act as swiftly as possible and minimize the hiccup in the project’s timeline. 

Specifically, StructionSite can help with RFIs like:

  • Confirmation: Sometimes, the reality just doesn’t match the drawings. Whenever a party needs confirmation of a detail, documentation gives everyone a clear view of the current state of the build based on the existing or installed scope.  
  • Missing information: Similarly, there might be a reality on the jobsite that’s not included on the drawing. With documentation, clarifying the scope and getting everyone up to speed takes a few clicks and a few minutes. 
  • Scope issue: It happens all the time. The material size is off. The detail isn’t feasible to build. The material isn’t available. When these issues arise, the ability to move forward is key in keeping your project on track. With photo documentation, all the stakeholders are able to clearly see the problem, allowing them to collaborate and find a solution right away. 

An easier, faster way to document your jobsite

Clearly, documentation can help with RFIs. Consistent, accessible jobsite documentation empowers every member of every team to be responsible for what’s happening on the jobsite, even before they set foot on it. But is site documentation really worth the time commitment?

Great question! Our question for you is: why is your documentation taking so long? With a tool like StructionSite, you can keep detailed, up-to-date documentation readily available to all the relevant parties by using it just  10 minutes a day. 

With VideoWalk®, one person on your team can simply walk the jobsite using a recommended camera and the StructionSite application on their phone while passively capturing 360º video. If one person spends 10 minutes doing a VideoWalk on one floor, there is now an unlimited number of people who can virtually walk the job. Using photogrammetry, artificial intelligence and machine learning, VideoWalk tethers the video of the path walked to the floor plan on file for visibility across teams.

With a couple of clicks, anyone can take a virtual walkthrough of the jobsite without ever going on location!  

What’s more, you might not need to add additional work time to be consistently walking your jobsite for documentation purposes. Spread the responsibility, and crowdsource the capture with team members who are already onsite. Anyone can incorporate video capture into one of their existing daily routines. For example, they can do it while:

  • Checking that the floor is ready for work in the morning
  • Performing a mid-day safety walk or go in to check on various crews
  • Cleaning and locking up  at the end of day

Get the right members of your team into the routine of documenting the jobsite while they’re already going about their daily to-dos. Then, you get a meaningful way to keep everyone informed — and keep RFIs that lead to change orders at bay — without extra work for your team. 

Interested in trying out StructionSite’s site documentation tools for your own projects? Start a free trial today.

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