A management system is a key piece when starting a new construction project, especially because it can help with time management, costs, and safety. Location-based management scheduling (LBMS) takes these aspects and more into consideration when planning how to control projects that require multiple trades in multiple areas concurrently.

LBMS not only helps with project control, but also offers greater predictability, the opportunity to avoid unexpected interruptions, and the ability to control a schedule. By analyzing these variables, LBMS helps control aspects of a project instead of reacting to an unexpected situation that may occur on the jobsite. According to Bill Klorman, CEO of Klorman Construction, Woodland Hills, Calif., “Increased safety is a result of the project-control system.”

With LBMS, work is scheduled so crews aren't working in the same area at the same time. One crew works in a limited part of the jobsite at a specific time, moving to the next portion of the project when work has been completed. Then, a different crew comes into the first area to begin their work, with additional crews following in their place. This process keeps every crew busy, but in different areas, so working conditions remain safer and work is completed more efficiently.

The LBMS theory is based on automated mathematical algorithms. After all aspects of a project are inputted, a graph illustrates where potential problems between crews could occur. By predicting potential problems ahead of time, job hazards can be assessed and avoided. Repeatedly preventing these job hazards eventually makes it easier to prevent accidents because the solutions become more reliable.

Because potential problems are programmed into the schedule, these situations are more easily monitored. Job hazards also are reduced because there is limited need for workers to re-enter areas after they've optimally completed their work. Furthermore, frequent accidents that occur from attempts to recover time by trying to catch up with an inconsistent production rate may be eliminated.

Aside from helping make the work place safer, LBMS is useful in many other ways. “LBMS works better than any other system in concert with lean construction and Last Planner theories,” says Klorman. This simply means that it looks for the maximum value with the smallest amount of waste. Large inventories aren't necessary because you produce, purchase, and deliver supplies only as needed. Also, the Last Planner theory grants decision making to the lowest level. “Historically decisions are made at upper management levels by the project manager, operations manager, and/or the superintendent, who are not as intimately aware of the work and the needs as the workers. By having the last person in the line of command make the final plan, it reduces waste and costs of labor, materials, and equipment,” says Klorman.

To implement location-based scheduling Klorman says you need to develop a project hierarchy, list the different work that is required on the project, load the scopes of work with resource and consumption rate information—which determines the time each task will take, and finally monitor and control the project on a regular basis.