The Importance of Using Activation Software Early in the Construction Project

As construction projects grow in size and complexity, there is a need for a more efficient and effective process of coordinating the various stakeholders involved. One area that has become increasingly important is the activation process, or preparing a building for use after construction is complete. While many organizations wait until the activation and building fit-up (FF&E) phase to start thinking about this process, using activation software early on in the construction project can save time and money and improve the project’s overall success.

At FreightTrain, we advise customers to begin using FitUp at least 6 months before you start building turnover. This ensures that staff can train on how to use the software and document room readiness. It also allows issues to be fixed and recorded immediately after the General Contractor has completed a walkthrough of the building and better prepares the logistics team. 

Here are three reasons why activation software is essential early in the construction project:

1. Better Collaboration and Coordination

Using activation software from the construction project’s beginning can help improve collaboration and coordination among the various stakeholders involved. By providing a centralized platform for tracking tasks and timelines, activation software can help ensure everyone is on the same page and working towards the same goals. This can help avoid delays and miscommunication that can lead to costly mistakes later in the project.

“FitUp was able to add value to our project by saving us hours of updating several different documents by combining those documents into one uniform application. Our team utilized the application via our company iPad, making it simple for us to record deliveries in real time. FitUp made it easier to collaborate with other team members as each member had access to a fully updated list at all times. All in all, we were able to record our equipment deliveries on a three story patient tower in a few hours rather than a few days.”

~ Taylor Miller, Assistant Project Engineer at Turner Construction

2. Improved Efficiency

Activation software can also help improve construction process efficiency, which ensures on-time and under-budget project delivery. By providing real-time data on the status of tasks and timelines, stakeholders can make informed decisions and adjustments to the construction plan, resulting in a more streamlined and efficient process. This can help to reduce costs and improve the overall success of the project. 

For example, one of our customers recently had a situation where they were able to use FitUp to identify where crash carts were going to be placed within their department months before the activation phase was scheduled using our Visual Fragnet tools. The customer identified they were going to need additional crash carts, and also place children’s crash carts near the adult crash carts in order to meet the requirements for a specific department. If they had not started using FitUp early in the project, they might not have recognized the need for the additional carts and they couldn’t have run the reports that allowed them to identify the issue, order additional carts, and have everything stocked and in place for opening day. 

3. Cost Savings

Finally, using activation software early in the construction project can help to save costs in the long run. By identifying and addressing potential issues before the activation and building fit-up (FF&E) phase, stakeholders can avoid costly delays and mistakes that can add up over time. This can result in significant cost savings and improved return on investment for the project.

“I have been using FitUp at different institutions across the US since its early development. While I find much of the functionality essential to my transition strategy work and assisting differing stakeholders on a project, one of the key points that is essential to effectiveness is early utilization. Early uptake of the product provides several benefits with one of the most effective being user adoption. On my projects, I often have new players joining the team, and it is such a benefit to have all parties integrated into this quality product right off the bat. Using the tool for logistics, maps, equipment tracking/documenting, and room readiness before it becomes crunch time is extremely helpful in preparing for the final sprint and long-term management of the facility as well as assets within it. I am a big proponent of this software and recommend purchasing early in a project’s lifespan to truly reap all the benefits.”

~Elizabeth Callahan, Owner, Callahan Partners, Inc.


In summary, using activation software early in the construction project is essential for better collaboration and coordination, improved efficiency, and cost savings. By adopting a more proactive approach to the activation process, stakeholders can ensure that the building is ready for use as soon as construction is complete, reducing downtime and increasing productivity.

FreightTrain’s FitUp is a powerful and intuitive activation software platform that is designed to help organizations streamline the activation process and improve the success of their construction projects. Contact us today to learn more about our solutions and how we can help you achieve your goals. 

5 Steps to Turn Your Construction Project Data into Action

Image has the words "Project Data into Action" and shows hands from different project team members working on a project plan document

Hospital construction projects create A LOT of data, and more than 90% of that data in the engineering and construction industry goes unused. Data-driven companies are more productive, more agile and more profitable – making it crucial for construction leaders to find ways to convert their data into actionable insights.

Turning data into action means spending less time searching for the data you need and organizing it so you can make better decisions, faster. In order to leverage the benefits of data-driven decision making, you need to invest some time putting together a process plan that will turn your project data into action. 

In this post, we’re going to walk you through the 5 steps we use at FreightTrain for turning project data into action for our customers and are built into the core of our software solutions.

Our 5 Step Process to Turning Your Project Data into Action:

  1. Define the Project Goals
  2. Define the Action(s)
  3. Define who is responsible for taking the action
  4. Identify and Locate the data 
  5. Measure Progress

1. Define the Project Goals

Before you do anything with data, the first step to turning project data into action is to define your desired goals or outcomes. These goals should be SMART (specific, measurable, actionable, time-bound, and realistic). 

Here are some examples of common goals you probably have for your construction project: 

  • Close all outstanding project issues before ribbon-cutting ceremony
  • Comply with local building inspection requirements 
  • Make sure each room has the correct equipment installed 

2. Define the Action Needed, And 3. Who is Responsible for Taking Action

It’s easier to combine steps 2 and 3 to determine who is responsible for taking what action.  

  • The Project Manager needs to solve project issues, often by collaborating with contractors and consultants;  
  • The Compliance Officer needs to verify all required inspections are completed and approved; 
  • The Logistics Manager needs to request products from the warehouse; 

Each of these examples has an Action highlighted and a person responsible for taking each action. 

FitUp makes project issues data actionable across a team with tools for assigning issues to specific contractors, and a view all of related issue data in one place.

The Project Manager example highlights how multiple people and companies are involved in hospital construction projects. The complexity of a healthcare project means it is important to establish a collaborative environment. Make sure to include external people who may need to have access to the data in order for you to take action, like solving a vendor-related problem holding up the project. 

4. Identify and Locate the Data

Identifying the data simply means figuring out what information the teams identified above needs in order to take the desired action. Continuing with our examples from above:

FreightTrain’s software provides a visual map overlay of room readiness so the logistic manager can quickly see what rooms to prioritize.
  • The project manager needs to know what the details of the issues are, including viewing any photos of the images or related vendor documents before they can solve an issue. The project manager may also need to be able to share this information with a vendor to help solve the issue on their end. This project manager needs to know who is involved in an issue that should be informed to solve the issue. Since the project manager is probably managing multiple issues, they need all this information readily accessible for each issue before they are able to take action. 
  • A compliance officer requires information on the inspectors, the inspections they did, and details related to the building construction, floor plans, etc. to verify compliance with local regulations. They will also need a way to track each inspector on the project and the results of their inspection reports. 
  • A logistics manager will need to be able to match deliveries and equipment to the designated installation point so they can direct contractors to deliver and install the equipment in the right room. They’ll need to be able to track the status of all products until they are installed in the correct location. They have to create and print labels to use on incoming deliveries to track item from point of delivery to installation.   

Depending on the tools you use to capture project data, this step can take a few iterations until you figure out exactly what data you need and where that data is located. If you’re using spreadsheets and multiple systems that don’t integrate, it is challenging to manage version control of the documents and locate the data you need. If you’re using a digital solution like FitUp or QCView, then all of this is managed in one place for your project.

5. Measure Progress

Measuring progress ensures important issues are highlighted and resolved.

The final step includes creating the reports that visualize information for reporting, usually in the form of a dashboard. It’s important when you build your dashboards and reports that you don’t clutter up the space with a bunch of bar graphs and charts that don’t provide any relevant information to the stakeholder. 

When possible, you want to create a custom dashboard or report for each stakeholder to focus on just the information they need to take the action quickly. The project manager, compliance officer, and logistics manager all require different data to make appropriate decisions. 

  • The project manager needs a report with information measuring KPIs such as total number of issues, issue status, issue by category, issue by vendor, and issue resolution average times. 
  • The compliance officer dashboard should show KPIs such as which rooms require inspections, completed inspections, inspections pending, inspection scores, plus any specific notes from inspections that failed. 
  • The logistics manager is going to need KPIs that show all deliveries, where each shipment is stored and where it needs to be delivered onsite, track which items have been moved onsite, where expected deliveries should be taken for storage and then installation, etc. 
FitUp allows customers to setup custom dashboard so each person can quickly get to the relevant data to their role.


Following these 5 steps will help you create a project plan to transforms your data into actionable insights so your construction projects go more smoothly and with fewer unexpected costs. 

At FreightTrain, we build digital solutions to make data-driven project management simple! 

If you’re interested in learning how FreightTrain’s software solutions streamline and automate this process for our customers, contact us today!

 3 Ways Spreadsheets are Costing Your Construction Projects Time and Money

Before coming to FreightTrain for help, our customers were using excel spreadsheets to manage equipment logistics during the activation of their hospital construction projects. Your business is probably no different – relying on multiple spreadsheets and spreadsheet templates to manage this critical component of your healthcare construction projects. 

Spreadsheets have their place in business, but that place is not in activating a building.

Here are 3 ways spreadsheets are creating waste for your construction project – 

1) Wasted Time 

How much time is each person involved in the activation of your construction projects spending inside spreadsheets? 

You might be surprised by how high that number is for some of the people on your team. We often hear people are spending upwards of 50% of their time at work just trying to find the right spreadsheet, update it, send out the updated version to everyone involved, pull data from one to another, etc. 

For example, several of our customers have told us they spent several hours each week compiling data from multiple spreadsheets to have a report they could give to the hospital leadership team. If you have two full-time project managers spending 8 hours a week each on generating reports from spreadsheets – that’s costing your business more than $1,000 every week, to create a report. 

Close to 75% of contractors reported longer than expected project delays in 2022.

AGC 2022 Construction Hiring and Business Outlook Report

When your team’s time isn’t being used effectively, this is also a direct cause of project delays – adding further costs to your business. 

FreightTrain’s FitUp automates reporting and delivers the latest reports in real-time. This means leadership always gets the most up-to-date status on the project, and project teams aren’t wasting up to a full workday double-handling project data to create reports. This ensures our customers’ projects launch on time. 

2) Inaccurate Data

For large projects like a hospital facility, there are typically many spreadsheets and multiple teams of people who are transferring data across spreadsheets throughout the project. This leads to spreadsheets that are riddled with outdated and inaccurate information. 

One recent report showed that over 86% of spreadsheets contain errors – and that a single error can cause up to 10% of that construction project’s value to be destroyed. 

With our industry’s tight financial constraints, can any business afford to risk 10% of their next project’s value over a single spreadsheet error?

FitUp’s Visual Reports Provide Real-Time Status Updates

FitUp provides tools to verify data as it is entered into the database while dramatically reducing the errors caused when people are manually copying and pasting data from one spreadsheet to another. With more accurate data, our customers have fewer issues during their projects and can respond faster to issues as they arise. 

3) Inhibits Collaboration

The activation of a hospital project involves numerous groups from multiple companies that all need to access and share information throughout the project. The inherent limitations of collaborating with spreadsheets often lead to frustration and difficulties across project teams when trying to track and report on key project KPIs over a construction project. 

Creating and tracking a single issue that impacts multiple teams, such as having a piece of equipment ordered, delivered to the warehouse, sent onsite for installation, and then inspected, can rely on 10 or more spreadsheets that reside in different locations and are managed by different people. The typical hospital construction project will log and track over 5,000 issues – this isn’t feasible to manage in spreadsheets.

FitUp makes it easy for everyone involved to collaborate and maintain a single source of truth. Issues can be assigned to contractors within FitUp and tracked from the moment they were reported through resolution. Our platform streamlines project communications that used to be managed across multiple emails with multiple spreadsheet versions to track. 

Consider eliminating spreadsheets from your project activation workflows as a new year’s resolution. Schedule a demo of FitUp today!

How FitUp Helps Mitigate the Labor Shortage in Hospital Construction

The Associated General Contractors Construction Association recently released a startling report that highlighted how severe labor shortages have become across the construction industry. 

“91 Percent of Construction Firms Report Having a Hard Time Finding Workers to Hire, Driving Up Costs and Project Delays.”

AGC 2022 Workforce Survey

Of the nearly 1300 construction firms surveyed: 

  • 93% report they have open positions they are trying to fill
  • 91% are having a hard time finding workers
  • 77% have difficult hiring, including finding skilled workers 

These results were cited across all sectors of construction regardless of organization size or industry. A severe labor shortage of this nature is not going to be rectified quickly, creating serious problems for hospital construction projects that lead to higher costs and delays in project completion. These costs are also leading to cancelled projects. 

The solution to this labor shortage won’t be fast or come from one place – and digital technology is one of the ways construction projects can mitigate the challenges from the labor shortage in the short term as well as provide long term benefits. Technology allows companies to do more with the same number of people, helping them increase their revenue and improve profitability.

FreightTrain Can Help!

“87% of construction firms agree that their employees need to possess digital technology skills.”

AGC 2022 Workforce Survey

FreightTrain customers are leveraging our SaaS platform, FitUp, to reduce the number of man-hours required on a project to get more done with fewer people. Before FitUp, our customers were using multiple spreadsheets to track medical equipment, IT, and Furniture. 

FitUp makes it easy and fast to update project information via a laptop or tablet. This eliminates the back-and-forth, emails, phone calls, and meetings to discuss progress. FitUp allows the project team to collaborate using one source of truth.

FitUp enables project teams to create issues for buildings, rooms, products, etc. in a couple of minutes (versus the 10+ minutes to do it manually), and then automatically assigns and notifies the responsible party when there is an issue assigned to them. Most projects will have thousands of issues they need to track – meaning FitUp is saving our customers hundreds of man-hours on every project!

This means you can report, track and solve issues faster and with fewer people involved. Anyone onsite can create a ticket for the issue, attach a picture and link other relevant documents – all without having to go back to their office, download the images to their computer, and manually add additional room and project contract information. 

FitUp drives efficiency in individual workflows, and the benefits increase as the software is used cohesively thorough out the project. Contact us for more information or to schedule a demo.

FreightTrain Announces New Integration Partnership with 4Tower Capital Management System

FreightTrain and 4Tower logos with skyscrapers in the background

We’re excited to announce that FitUp, FreightTrain’s SaaS-based solution for coordinating medical equipment, furniture, and IT devices during building activation, is now integrated with 4Tower’s SpecAdvisor capital equipment planning system.  

The combination of SpecAdvisor and FitUp provides clients with an end-to-end solution for planning and deploying capital equipment for new construction and renovation projects. 

With 4Tower’s SpecAdvisor, Medical Equipment Planning Software users can:

  • Strategically plan and budget for new equipment
  • Build medical equipment projects of any scale using the system’s comprehensive product database
  • Quickly filter and access data, save views, make changes, and generate custom reports
  • Procure equipment and manage assets

 With FitUp, users can:

  • Coordinate and track medical equipment, furniture, and IT devices during building activation
  • Keep project stakeholders up to date with visual dashboards and auto-generated reports
  • Visualize project status with FitUp’s Visual Fragnet maps
  • Simplify issue management

The pace of healthcare construction amid a nationwide labor shortage puts pressure on owners and their consulting partners to staff projects. The SpecAdvisor/FitUp solution will improve the efficiency of the equipment planning and logistics teams, enabling our customers to get more work done without adding to your teams. 

Learn more about how SpecAdvisor helps you Manage Capital Planning.

Learn more about how FitUp helps you manage your FF&E and Activation Projects.

FreightTrain® FitUP™ Now Offers Self-Service to Make Your Hospital Construction Activation 10x Easier! 

FreightTrain® announces new self-service features for FitUP™

The activation phase is the last part of what can be a years-long planning, design, and construction effort for hospitals. It’s the only thing standing between a beautiful new building and the opportunity to deliver vital services to patients in need.

The initial healthcare owners that approached FreightTrain® for help were involved in large replacement tower projects and new hospital construction. Facilities of this scale may have tens of thousands of products that must be ordered, warehoused, delivered, installed, and tested before the go-live date. The manual, spreadsheet-based system that most teams employed to track the status of all these products proved inefficient and error-prone under the weight of these requirements.

The FreightTrain® team designed FitUP™ to address the needs of these larger projects, and since our initial launch – we’ve seen rapid adoption by prestigious organizations across the country. FitUP™ is a cloud-based software system that our clients use to simplify the tracking of medical equipment, furniture, and IT during the activation of a healthcare project. 

More recently, customers have expressed a need to create a standardized workflow for their activation process. The goal was to take the learnings from more extensive projects and leverage them across their portfolio of capital improvement projects.

Working closely with our customers, our team has spent the last year developing a self-service portal for FitUP™ to give you greater ability to create custom workflows and apply them across all your projects.

The Self-Service Portal Makes it Easy to Create and Manage New Projects

Now, our clients are able to set-up new projects without intervention from the FreightTrain® team. Users can set up projects, connect to the medical equipment planning solution of their choice, submit Revit files for creating our proprietary Visual Fragnet maps, and more.

Self-service is a breakthrough, making FitUP™ a cost-effective solution for projects across the continuum from large to small. This feature allows teams to gain greater proficiency with the system and drive significant performance improvements across their organizations. We are excited to deliver this capability to our customers.
We developed FitUP™ Self-Service because customers asked for a solution to a complex problem. The FreightTrain team listened and delivered an answer. We are proud to announce that the new self-service capability is opening the door for greater efficiency for healthcare organizations across the country and ensuring successful activations so our customers can focus on what really matters – their patients.

Don’t Allow Supply Chain Issues to Delay Your Project

The last two years have been incredibly stressful for the healthcare industry and the many incredible people working in the field. In addition to the stress of treating an influx of patients caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, these organizations faced immense challenges in the supply chain. The issues with the supply chain are having a significant impact on organizations that are building and activating new facilities. Healthcare facilities are now facing delays upwards of five months for equipment to be delivered (Aeppel). These delays negatively impact the schedule for new projects and make it more challenging to provide patient care for all those in need.

Compounding the problem is that project teams in the field often have limited visibility to the status of the medical equipment, furniture, and IT devices that must be delivered and installed to open a new facility on time. Information about the status of these products often resides in spreadsheets exported from planning tools, ERP systems, and so forth. FitUp is a technology solution that allows healthcare organizations to track the ordering, shipment, and delivery of equipment, furniture, & IT. With FitUp, healthcare facilities can track, in real-time, on interactive dashboards what equipment has been purchased, shipped to the warehouse or the site, installed, tested, etc.

FitUp ensures that your project is successful and delivered on time. For more information, check out our website,


Aeppel, Timothy. “COVID Creates Shortages of an Array of U.S. Medical Supplies.” Reuters, 20 Sept. 2021, 11:23 a.m.,

Benefits of having Attainia and FitUp on your Project

Attainia and FitUp are both used by many healthcare organizations to track medical equipment from planning to installation.  FitUp and Attainia are now integrated so that all product information that is managed in Attaina is automatically uploaded into FitUp and updated as changes are made in Attainia.

Medical Equipment Planners utilize Attainia to create the preliminary equipment budget, specify vendor-specific equipment and manage changes for the medical equipment that will be purchased on a project. Users will make updates to Attainia as products move through the project lifecycle stages of Planned, Validated, Sent to Purchasing, and Purchased. Once items are received at the warehouse other users begin to use FitUp to track what products are in the Warehouse, when they are Requested to Site, Received on Site, Stagged, Placed in Room, and Complete.

The benefits of using both applications are listed below:

  1. The entire project team has visibility to the status of all products throughout the activation process
  2. Any change to product data in Attainia is automatically reflected in FitUp
  3. Drive Collaboration between medical equipment planners the logistics team 

For more information, please visit our website at

Everything in one place


HTS, Inc. FitUp software takes critical project data from multiple sources, then combines and delivers the data to a user-friendly interface. One heavily-used and much lauded feature of FitUp is the Project Dashboard, which provides a broad overview of the entire project. The dashboard contains three core modules: Product Status, Room Readiness, and Issues. Using these modules one can see not only the progress of the building itself, but also of the building load process. Additionally, visibility is given to the issue resolution process – whether the issue lies with the building itself or materials and equipment loaded within it. The dashboard is especially useful when doing ‘report outs’ with clients and stakeholders because it gives those parties a comprehensive status report at a glance.

Who FitUp Is For


Our FreightTrain software has been a vital tool for our Building Load and Logistics team during the Building Load phase of our projects as it helps us track a piece of equipment through the process of going from the initial plan, through the procurement process, all the way to its deployment and installation in its final location.

While our FitUp module is oriented around product deployment and is used primarily by the teams responsible for deployment, like the BLL team, it can be beneficial to many other parties, including Biomedical Engineering, notably during their incoming equipment inspections. By utilizing the product status feature and product details page in FitUp, Biomed can track the exact equipment that is incoming, know where it will be staged for their inspections, and once tagged, users can enter key information into our system that allows them to track the date of inspection, asset tag, and serial number. Once the project is complete, Biomed can extract the information and upload it into their software. With a multitude of features and data values, FreightTrain’s FitUp module holds valuable utility across many aspects of a project.