A request for information, an RFI, is a means for construction companies to garner information about potential suppliers or for a subcontractor on a project to request information from the main contractor regarding certain aspects of a project. Good templates for either type of RFI include a clear statement of the information being sought and why it is being sought, defined time limits for submission and review of the RFI and detailed information as to related specifications and requirements.
A good template for an RFI that is seeking product or service information also includes definitions of any abbreviations and terminology used in the document and background information regarding the company issuing the RFI and their intended use of the product or services.
An RFI being used as a communication tool within a project should be based on contractual specifications as to how and to whom specific requests are sent and tracked. A single, standard RFI template, which requires information related to impact on the project budget and time line, is recommended for internal project requests and responses. In order to ensure minimal impact on a project's overall budget and timeline, any terminology specific to such RFIs, a detailed description of the process for submitting and responding to RFIs and the RFI template should be included in all project contracts and subcontracts.