Defining Storage Locations for Inventory
Keeping track of where inventory items are located in your lab is a key part of the inventory management process. LabArchives Inventory allows you to completely customize your storage locations for efficient retrieval of items, review of items in a location, or physical inventory reconciliation.
We present a hierarchical storage model to represent the physical locations you are tracking, whether it is a shelf within a freezer, or a specific cell within a freezer box.
Note: We recommend setting up the storage locations before adding items to your inventory. The Import Template allows you to specify the location of each items using top-level locations, bottom-level locations, and if applicable, the freezer box cells. This information can only be imported if the locations are specified in Inventory first. Click here to learn more about using the Import Template.
Setup Top Level Storage Locations
Defining your storage locations in LabArchives Inventory is a top-down process. Therefore, begin with the top-level location name. This will typically be a refrigerator, freezer, cabinet, etc. that may have a specific name. You can add any number of locations, and locations can have unlimited levels of sub-locations. Just remember the more complex, the more challenging it may be to manage locations.
- Click the Gear icon on the top left to open the Lab Management Menu. To access the lab management menu, you must have the Role of Lab manager. Click here for more information on Roles.
- Select the “Storage” tab
- To create a new top-level storage location, click “Add New Location” at the top.
- Provide a clear and descriptive location name.
Note: Top-level storage location names must be unique. The location name can be up to 255 characters in length and can contain special characters.
- To save click “Add Location”
Setup Lower Level Storage Locations
Once you have added the top-level location, you can add sub-levels within it such as specific shelves within a freezer.
- Once you have added the top-level location, click on pencil to the right of the location name. This is also used to rename or delete a location.
Note: If you delete a storage location, any inventory items assigned to these locations will no longer have an assigned storage location.
- Click “Add location inside” and input a Location name.
- Click “Save” to add the location. You can repeat this process to create a more complex hierarchy.
Freezer Box as a Storage Location
If a location is a freezer box, select the Freezer Box checkbox. This will display options for your Freezer Box to allow you to customize the dimensions and labeling of the cells.
Freezer boxes can be up to 50 x 50 in dimension. The cell label formats include: Letter and Number, Number and Letter, or Number Only.
Once you are done setting up your inventory, you can start adding items to your inventory. Click here to learn more
Moving Storage Locations
Lab Managers can move a group of items to another storage location. This is an easy way to update the location for multiple items at once. For example: an entire freezer rack in your lab is moved from one freezer to a different freezer. You can use our move storage feature to move this entire rack (including all sublocations, such as freezer boxes) in your inventory. Saving the time to update each inventory item’s location one by one.
To move a storage location:
- Click the gear icon at the top and then select the ‘Storage’ tab.
- Select the storage location you want to move and then click the pencil icon next to its name.
- Click ‘Move’.
Inventory Storage Move Button screen shot
- This will open a window where you can select a new location. Then click ‘Move’.
Things to note:
All associated items within the previous storage location will now display the new updated storage location.
If you move a location that contains sublocations, all sublocations under that parent location will be moved.
You cannot move a storage location if you are moving it somewhere with a duplicate name in that location hierarchy. For example: Your lab has two freezers named Freezer 1 and Freezer 2. Within each of those freezers, there is a rack named Rack 1. If you want to move the Rack 1 in Freezer 1 to Freezer 2, you will not be able to do so since Freezer 2 already contains a rack named Rack 1. In this case, you can change the name of the rack you want to move. Once it has a unique name, you will be able to move that location.
Locations cannot be moved into a freezer box.
Like changing a location name, moving a storage location is not listed in the item’s history.
Storage locations are listed in alphabetical order. This cannot be changed.
Creating Multiple Labs
In some cases, your group may require multiple labs in order to use LabArchives Inventory with the greatest level of efficiency. With an Enterprise license of LabArchives Inventory, users can create an unlimited number of labs for organizing items and users into their respective locations.
To create a new lab, log into your LabArchives Inventory account and select your name in the menu bar. In the dropdown menu, select “Create New Lab”
After this, you’ll see a dialog box on your screen that prompts you to title your new lab. Once you’ve done this, click on the orange “Confirm” button.
You will then be redirected to your new Inventory lab, where you can start importing users and inventory. To switch back to your original lab, click on your name in the menu bar and select “Switch Labs”.
The name of the current lab you are in will show on both the landing page and the Inventory screen. This ensures users who are part of multiple Inventory labs know which lab they are currently viewing.