Inertia offers a standard workflow that helps you and those you work with on RFIs keep track of them. In addition to the standard RFI workflow, Inertia allows you to create Inquiries, a less formal version of an RFI. Inquiries can be resolved and closed through the inquiry workflow, or be escalated to an official RFI. Some projects may require that Subcontractors only file inquiries, which can be escalated to an official RFI by the general contractor (GC).
RFI and Inquiry workflows can vary by project, but we have outlined the typical workflow of an RFI below.
To learn more about creating RFIs, check out this article: Create RFIs or Inquiries
1. Create an Inquiry (optional)
Created by the subcontractor, and Inquiry is a less official version of an RFI. Inquiries can be reassigned to another user for comments, resolve and close as an inquiry, or be escalated to an RFI. Some projects may require that subcontractors only create inquiries, which can then be escalated to an RFI by the general contractor (GC).
If possible, the GC will respond to the inquiry and close it at this stage. If the GC needs to inquire with the design pro or owner, they will often open the Inquiry to an RFI.
2. Create RFI/Open Inquiry to RFI
Inquiries which are escalated to RFIs will be assigned an RFI number. On projects where subcontractors are permitted to create RFIs, they will create them using the RFI tool.
3. Route the RFI to the appropriate contacts
After the RFI is created, the GC will review it to determine whether they need more information from the subcontractor, and then to determine whether they need information from the design pro or owner.
If the GC needs more information from the subcontractor, then the GC will reply to the subcontractor. The subcontractor then revises the RFI and replies to the GC with all required information and changes.
If an RFI does not need to be revised by a subcontractor, then the GC must determine whether the RFI needs to be reviewed by the owner, design pro, or consultant. If so, then the GC may forward it for their review.
4. Respond to the RFI
If the GC has enough information, they may respond directly to the subcontractor.
If the RFI was assigned to the owner or design pro, the owner or design pro may respond to the GC, and then the GC responds to the subcontractor. If the subcontractor is not satisfied with the response, then they may reply to the GC.
At this stage, the RFI can be reassigned as many times as necessary to clarify information between the different teams. The GC can use the Request Comment workflow option to request a comment from a user without assigning to that user. The GC can also use the Reassign W/Comment workflow option to request a comment from a user and reassign the RFI to them.
5. Close the RFI
Once the GC feels the subcontractor has been provided with sufficient information to answer the RFI, the GC will provide the Official Response and resolve the RFI by setting the status to Closed.