Today’s job site is more complex than ever before. New building technologies, higher expectations from owners, tighter budgets, and faster timelines fuel the potential for delays, budget overruns, and team conflict.
Larger teams and a demand for greater collaboration contribute to the complexity. Which is why a more efficient construction project management workflow is vital.
RFIs and submittals are examples of these communications that need to follow a prescribed path for review and approval to meet contract obligations, but they can bog the construction process down. Even with the help of software applications designed to improve the flow of communication, the complicated dance of RFIs and submittals can feel like frustrating inefficiency.
A large number of technology point solutions attempt to address this problem by providing tools for managing RFIs and submittals. Unfortunately, they can also create additional confusion by forcing teams to switch between apps, while increasing the potential for data loss and missed communications.
It’s clear that today’s construction teams need a more streamlined way to manage project workflows, without losing the ability to align with contractual procedures.
The most efficient way to do that is to integrate contractual project controls and clear workflows on a single construction platform, so that workers have a single app to log in to and manage data through.
Autodesk’s BIM 360 Build provides all of that, as well as flexibility for day-to-day use.
The Common Data Platform
Because BIM 360 Build is built on a common data platform, it makes it easy for team members to access all project information on an as-needed basis. This includes contractual documents, design documents, markups, design and field issues, and RFIs, all visible in the context of the current sheets and models.
RFIs, submittals, and changes to documents can be made automatically visible to all team members who need access. Cloud-based connectivity and access on both mobile devices and desktops enables team members to access documents and drawings on an ongoing basis as the project progresses.
This reduces time spent transferring information from one system to another, increases ability to respond flexibly to real-time changes, and reduces the potential for errors and conflicts. All of which frees teams to quickly digest the information they need and move on to more important tasks.
With information in a common data platform, it makes it easy for team members to access all project information on an as-needed basis.
Seamless Project Management Workflow
Contractual procedures, communication processes, and standards can vary from one project to the next. You need to be able to create and manage multiple workflows flexibly across teams and projects, while still maintaining clear accountability.
With BIM 360 Build’s RFI workflows, teams can designate responsibilities for each step and coordinate responses from the design team. This helps RFIs and submittals to move through the process efficiently, and eliminates potential for conflicting responses.
For example, RFI workflows can be set up to allow any project member to initiate an RFI and submit it to the General Contractor. The GC can edit the RFI and assign a primary Reviewer and additional co-reviewers. This creates a clear response structure for the RFI, eliminating friction and reducing miscommunication.
Even better, BIM 360 Build allows users to establish the location of the RFI on the drawings as part of the initiation process, making it easy for everyone to visualize the location while responding to the RFI.
The combination of better visibility and controlled workflow removes guesswork and conflict, and by ensuring all critical information is immediately available to all relevant parties, it reduces rework.
BIM 360 Build provides the same flexibility for submittals, which streamlines construction project management. Users can create items in the submittal log, add items to a submittal package, and submit items and collaborate in the activity section.
To ensure adequate controls, only the GC or Manager can review the submittal package and make the final decision on when it is ready for the design team to review.
BIM 360 Build’s flexible, controlled workflows ensure a consistent, contractually compliant handoff process without limiting collaboration.
Teams using BIM 360 Build experience easier, more flexible collaboration without compromising the critical controls necessary to meet contractual obligations and ensure accountability across teams. This reduces rework, increases efficiency, and helps teams meet their budgets and timelines effectively.
When project teams have all the right information at the right time, work happens faster.