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Processes in rForm
Rform establishes the industry standard process automatically into the user-interface of the software. For example, the Prime Consultant must accept the Change Order’s document conditions by Recommending it prior to the Owner’s being asked to Accept it.
Proposed Change Orders (PCOs) become Change Orders (COs) and then Certificates for Payment automatically as team member actions are executed within the software’s interface. Rforms’s advantages over traditional means of managing the construction administration process becomes clear as users realize the speed at which contract forms are generated and moved along in the process faster via this web application.
Schedule of Values, Shop Drawings and Project Files
A key part of the project administration process working with Rform is the Schedule of Values. Figures placed into the Schedule of Values form the basis for contract adjustments via change orders and certificates for payment. Once the first certificate of payment is issued the schedule of values becomes fixed and un-editable. (see image 10).
One of the nicest features of Rform is its Log Submittal Item processes. Architects and contractors can utilize Rform to manage the entire shop drawing and submittals process. A log submittal form allows you to enter a “discipline” designation (this could by anything including CSI specification numbers or consultant/sub-specialty sections. A number field allows you to assign a particular Shop Drawing number to a record. A description is required and then you can also upload electronic submittal files such as PDFs for review. A physical submittals section allows you to record physical sample submissions. (see image 11)
Rfdorm also includes its own simple FTP site built in. That means you can upload and store essential electronic documents for the entire architect-contractor-owner team. The architect and his consultants can store CAD files, PDF files of current construction document plans, and other key information such as specifications and reports.
Under the Project Files tab in Rform you add files to your Rform site by clicking on the Upload button. Files can be organized by “folder” and you can create as many folders as you like to help structure your files. In our image above (image 12) there is a folder for “meeting minutes” and a folder for “site photos” as some examples. Clicking on a folder will truncate the files that appear in the list to the right. You can rename, copy, delete and move files to different folders.
We have mentioned the importance of web applications and SaaS (software as a service) in the past on Architosh, notably talking about their importance and use in serving AEC industry and other design professionals who need to work swiftly, accurately and benefit from a centralized data model. Back in 2006 we wrote about Basecamp and Copper Project as new web-based tools ideal for AEC industry pros. And not just web-based tools but Web 2.0-based tools! We noted how this new generation of applications, powered by servers and accessed through standard web browsers, were more suited for emerging needs around project and data management and collaboration.
Rform is our latest app discovery and the newest cool Web 2.0 tool on the market. And unlike other “general tools” this one is created specifically for architects and the general contractors, consultants, and clients they work with and for. For those who have experience with Basecamp in particular the one thing about Rform that will stand out for you is how simple and elegant the general application is.
Applications that start out of the gate this nice take some time to get right. Paul Lopes told us they got going in earnest back in 2007: “initially our early work from concept to the beginning of the implementation was started in 2007,” he said, “but things really didn’t take off until 2009.”
While the application is very much tailored around the idea that the architect is the Prime Consultant and thus establishes and sets up the Rform project for the team, this doesn’t have to be the case. “Ninety percent of our clients are architects,” said Paul Lopes, “but contractors are finding this and liking it too. They are using it with sub-trades and setting things up for work down the road.”
Rform is a web application so new features, when they are implemented, get added to the application as a service without any need for the user to download or initiate anything. The company is constantly monitoring its use and making improvements and has several feature initiatives in the works, making it more useful to architects and contractors every day.
Because Rform is software as a service (SaaS) this means you subscribe to a plan and access the software through your web browser. There is nothing to install. One of the things we like about SaaS model applications is the simplicity these applications can embody. That simplicity helps streamline and shorten previous tasks that typically took longer. Architects generally don’t become architects so they could spend their time pushing and managing contract administration paperwork all day long. They become architects so they could focus on the creative side of the profession. Rform helps you do that.
Plans and pricing start at 159.95.USD and go up to 595.95.USD. Everything is based on the number of active projects at once. Users and forms are unlimited. If you need more than 50 active projects you can talk to the company about your needs. The lowest plan allows for 10 active projects.
There is a good demo video of Rform available here.
To learn more about Rform visit them online here: http://www.rform.ca/