Create Locations in the Inventory

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Once you have configured location schemas, you can then create specific locations in the Inventory application. It is best practice to create the locations in a top-down order (first tier location second tier location → ... → box container/plate). After a location hierarchy is established, you are ready to create boxes, containers, and plates!

Note: Only users with admin level permissions can create locations in Benchling. Please contact your team admin or for more information.

Create locations in the Inventory

  1. Navigate to the Inventory.

  2. Select the + Location → Create Location.

  3. Select the method you would like Benchling to use to generate the unique location barcode. An auto-generated barcode is created by Benchling using the schema-defined prefix and sequential numbering (i.e., FRZ001, FRZ002 for your first and second freezer, respectively). Auto-generated barcodes are recommended. A custom barcode allows the user to input a unique barcode and is a good option if your storage system in lab already has unique barcodes assigned to each item.

  4. Select the desired location schema using the Schema dropdown.

  5. Specify a location name. This is optional, though recommended. If you do not enter a name in the Name field, Benchling will use the barcode as the name.

  6. For nested locations, specify the location in which you would like the location being creating to be nested using the Location field. This is optional and only applicable only if you are nesting locations (ex. placing a Room in a Building). When creating top-level locations (e.g. a building or lab), leave the Location field empty.

Import locations into the Inventory in bulk via spreadsheet

Similar to importing entities in bulk to the Registry, locations can be imported into the Inventory in bulk via spreadsheet upload. The columns of the spreadsheet correspond to the fields which you would complete when creating a location through the user interface.

Importing locations via spreadsheet should take place in multiple steps, starting with the top-most layer and progressively moving to the bottom-most layer of the location hierarchy. First, the highest tier of locations should be imported (i.e., Building, Room). In this initial import, only the Name column is required. For subsequent imports of nested sub-locations, both the Name column and the Location Barcode are required. This will tell Benchling into which location the new locations should be nested. Locations must be imported one schema at a time (i.e. Buildings and Rooms cannot be imported at the same time).

Columns that can be included in the spreadsheet are:

  • Barcode (Optional): specifies the barcode of the location being imported. If you do not have existing barcodes or a desired custom barcode, you can leave this column blank. Benchling will auto-generate location barcodes based on your location schema’s prefix and a serial number. If you have existing barcodes or would like to assign a custom barcode, specify it in this column. Please note, barcodes must be unique.

  • Name (Required): specifies the name of the location being imported.

  • Location Barcode (Required for nested locations): specifies a barcode of an existing location that the new location is to be nested in (e.g., if Freezer 1 is found in Room 1, include the Room 1's Location Barcode here).

  • Additional Fields (Optional): specifies values of fields in your location schema (e.g., if a location schema has a “Temperature” field, you can create a “Temperature” column header). Create one column per additional field

In the above spreadsheet example, Freezer 1 is being imported and will be nested into the location with barcode RM001. No barcode was specified for Freezer 1 so Benchling will automatically generate a barcode. Freezer 1 includes an additional field titled Temperature of which the value is -80. Note that additional fields are defined in the Inventory settings on the location schema level.

Step-by-step Instructions

  1. Navigate to the Inventory.

  2. Select the + Location → Import Location.

  3. Select the desired location schema using the Schema dropdown.

  4. Upload the spreadsheet to Benchling (dropdown option Spreadsheet) or copy-and-paste the spreadsheet into the dialogue box (dropdown option Raw Text). Be sure to include the column headers in both cases to tell Benchling what each column represents. Select Next.

  5. Match each column to the appropriate field in Benchling. For additional fields, navigate to Location Fields and select the appropriate field. Benchling will match the column and fields automatically if the text value match. Select Next.

  6. Select Import. Benchling will list any issues that would prevent the import from being successful. Prior to import, address all recognized issues respectively and then attempt to import.

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