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Completing an annual inventory audit or your warehouse may seem like a daunting task, however, this deep dive into the current financial situation of your business is essential.

It is important that every year the warehouse of every company should undergo an inventory audit.

But exactly what is an inventory audit and how do you carry one out?

In this article, we’ll take a look at the audit procedures for inventory. Read on to find out more.

What Is an Inventory Audit?

An inventory audit is a procedure that compares financial records, inventory records, and involves a physical count of all goods that a company is in possession of.

An inventory audit can be a simple spot check involving a physical comparison of stock and inventory records, or it could be a full audit carried out by a third-party.

There are several types of common audit procedures including cutoff analysis, physical inventory count, ABC analysis, and many more. We’ll take a look at these in detail later.

Should You Hire an External Inventory Audit Specialist?

You don’t have to hire an external auditor or inventory audit specialist to carry out the procedure; however, it does help.

Hiring an external auditor will ensure that the count is carried out by independent and impartial people. By doing this, there is no risk of anyone intentionally misreporting figures.

Why Is It Important to Carry Out an Inventory Audit in Your Warehouse?

Having an effective inventory management system in place will help you to speed up your inventory auditing process. The better your system, the quicker your audits will take meaning less disruption to your business. Audits can be less frequent and less complicated with the right system in place.

Having a system that tracks your stock figures in real-time, rather than a static system such as a spreadsheet of stock figures will mean that your inventory will be more likely to be accurate.

Having the right systems in place will help you with many of the major objectives of your inventory audit. These objectives may include the following.

Calculating Profits

It is essential that you carry out inventory audits to calculate your profits. The accuracy in your companies inventory account will determine your bottom line.

Carrying out regular audits will help you to reduce shrinkage and identify any slow-moving items of stock that may be taking up valuable space.

Accurate Budgeting

You need to have an accurate method of tracking the value of your inventory so that you can budget for the next consignment that you need to buy. An inventory audit can help you to budget with greater accuracy as it will let you know exactly how fast you’re selling through specific lines.

Taking this deep dive into your inventory will also let you know how much safety stock you should hold.

Bring Inefficiency to Account

Carrying out an inventory audit will help you to identify inefficiency. The inventory process can hello you to identify which lines are repeatedly stocking out and causing lost sales. They can also help you to identify inefficiencies relating to the way you store your products.

What Might an Inventory Audit Uncover?

When carrying out an audit, you will bring to light any discrepancies. These can then be adjusted and rectified. It is important that you do this as stock loss needs to be measured as part of your end of year financial record keeping.

You may uncover the following:

  • Damaged or out of date items which cannot be sold
  • Obsolete items that you no longer stock
  • Discrepancies where you have more stock than expected
  • Discrepancies where you have less stock than expected

Once all of these things are brought to light, you should record the discrepancies and stock which need writing off and correct your inventory records.

Let’s look at some of the different procedures that you might use when carrying out an audit.

Cutoff Analysis

A cutoff analysis is where you pause operations during the inventory. This means holding off from receiving stock or shipping items. Usually, during this period, any stock that is received is held in a separate area and not counted.

By not handling stock, you can be sure that nothing goes unaccounted for.

Physical Inventory Count

A physical inventory count is designed to make sure that the stock records that you have on your system match up with the physical stock.

To help track the count automatically, you may use product barcodes and barcode scanners.

You should have a process of double-counting any areas where there are discrepancies. You should also spot check counters by double-counting to ensure accuracy.

ABC Analysis

If you stock items that range in value, you may want to use ABC analysis. This is where you group items of different values and volumes together. For instance, you may group all of your high-value (“A” products), mid-value (“B” products), and low-value (“C” products).

By grouping your products in this way, you’ll make it easier for an auditor to focus on the high-value inventory items.

Reconciling Items

If you find any discrepancies while carrying out your inventory audit, then in addition to reconciling each variance, you may want to do a full audit trail investigation to find out the root cause of the problem.

You may notice that there are certain error-prone SKUs that crop up repeatedly. Identifying these will allow you to keep an eye and tighter control over them in the future.

Carrying Out Your Inventory Audit

Carrying out an inventory audit may be a time-consuming task, however, it is worthwhile. The actual process of counting the stock and comparing it to the records is simple. But carrying out the necessary follow-up investigations into problematic SKUs may require more effort.

If you’re looking for a warehousing solution for your business that is efficient, get in touch today. We’ll provide you with a free quote and let you know how we can meet your needs.


As a responsible business owner, your top priority is the company’s bottom line. For that reason, you’ve determined that your business makes the most of its investments. When it comes to proper inventory management, there’s no exception. 

The good news, though, is that you’ve come to the right place by reading this article. Detailed below are today’s top small business inventory management tips. By following that guidance, you’ll increase your business’s profit margins in no time. 

After all, there are a lot of small businesses around that might be your competition. Consider the following statistic reported by the United States Small Business Administration. It indicates that as of the year 2018, over 99% of businesses throughout the country were small businesses. 

In other words, you need to put in the effort to stay ahead of any local competitors. Keep reading to learn how your inventory management strategies could meet that need. 

Start By Evaluating Your Needs and Available Budget

The first thing to consider is what expectations you actually have for your inventory management. For one thing, sensible workplace design is going to be in your best interest. 

Before you get started rearranging everything, though, take a look at your budget. If you truly want to make the most of your inventory management, you’ll need to make some investments. It’s ideal that you’re willing to spend some money on inventory management software, for example. 

In addition, are there other purchases you need to buy, such as shelving? Any organizational investments are going to be worthwhile. That way, you and your employees know where everything is at all times. 

Get Your Workplace Organized

Speaking of your workplace area, it’s wise to keep it organized as much as possible. Start by taking out any unessential items in the area. There’s no need to keep clutter and trash in the area, for one thing. 

Then, establish a centralized location for your recycling and trash bins. As a result, the trash in your workplace should all filter to those designated bins. 

It’s also a smart move to label and tag everything in your business’s workplace. This is even true of your individual inventory products. 

As mentioned above, be willing to invest in organizational tools like shelves and a label maker, if needed. Don’t cut corners when it comes to ensuring you’re making the most of workplace productivity. The detailed organization is one way to establish a more efficient inventory management system. 

It’s important that you continue to keep your workplace clean and free of clutter in the future, too. For more detailed specifics, check out this article on e-commerce warehousing best practices

Consider Investing in an Inventory Management Software Solution 

It’s no secret that we’re living in the modern Digital Era. It seems as though technology and the Internet reign supreme over our daily lives – including our professional lives.

It’s fortunate, then, that businesses of all industries have learned to take advantage of this digital marketplace. In fact, throughout the world, the business automation market generated over $5 billion in sales in 2016. In other words, it’s time for your small business to get on board. 

That’s why it’s worth taking a look at inventory management software solutions available. These systems help businesses of all sizes track and optimize their inventory processes. This is of particular benefit to those small businesses that ship products to consumers on a regular basis. 

Do your research to see how inventory management software can help you. By investing in such a solution, you’re enhancing accuracy and efficiency in your business’s inventory management. That automated attention to detail, in the long run, is going to be an invaluable asset. 

In addition, inventory management software is going to generate a ton of data for your small business. That way, you can track and measure that analytic data to improve operations over time. It’ll be up to you, though, to make the most of those analytic reports for your small business. 

Only Trust Reputable Shipping Solutions for Your Orders

One of the most significant inventory management strategies is to ensure your shipping process is optimized. Your customers expect their orders to be delivered in a timely and secure manner, after all. That’s why it’s worthwhile to only trust a reputable shipping solution provider.

Eco-Friendly Small Business Inventory Management Tips

These days, small business brands cultivate a positive reputation if they prioritize sustainable practices. For that reason, don’t underestimate the value of investing in eco-friendly inventory management strategies. 

One example is to purchase easy-to-recycle packaging materials. Even small businesses like yours make an impact on the environment when they ship their products on a regular basis. Make that impact a positive one by reducing waste of your packaging materials. 

Plus, a proper inventory management software solution is an eco-friendly strategy. That’s because the alternative is to track everything on pen and paper. By reducing the use of those materials, a high-quality software solution can provide more than one benefit to your business. 

Invest in a Reliable Courrier Service to Ship Your Inventory

At this point in the article, you have a thorough understanding of today’s best small business inventory management tips. There’s no need to cut corners when it comes to improving your business’s operations. You deserve the peace of mind that comes from an organized and profitable business.

That’s why you’ll take the above guidelines seriously. There are a lot of ins and outs to navigate when it comes to proper inventory management practices. For one thing, you need to establish an optimized solution for shipping your products.

In fact, that’s where we can come into play. We’re here to provide clients like you with today’s latest and greatest courier services available. If you need to ship your inventory to customers, look no further for a reliable solution. 

We encourage you to browse through the rest of our website. On it, you’ll find a variety of ways our courier services can help establish your business as a reputable one in your niche market. To start, check out more information about our courier and warehousing services today. 


Have you finally run out of space?

For reasons unknown, it’s hard for businesses to avoid clutter in the office. There just never seems to be enough of that precious thing called warehouse space.

How many times have you walked into a storage room that’s full of boxes of files and old computer parts that no one’s needed in years? It’s an epidemic.

Maybe you run a manufacturing business and you’re drowning in overstock waiting to be purchased and shipped out. 

What we’re trying to say is that it’s normal to be short on room. The expenses of moving to a larger space can be enough to sink a small business and if you’re growing steadily, this probably results in a lot of clutter around your office and warehouse.

We’re here to tell you that there’s help available. With on-demand long and short-term warehousing, you can have the best of both worlds. 

Here are 7 reasons why.

1. Erase Clutter

By investing in temporary warehouse space, you can allow your business to get back to doing what it’s best at, functioning as an office. If your current building is operating as your headquarters and your warehouse space, then you can’t work as efficiently as you could otherwise. 

Warehouse space will allow you to keep the office side and the warehouse side separate. Have one location that you run your operations out of and another that acts as a storage space for all of your products. 

You can also use a temp storage space to keep extra office supplies out of sight while you figure out what to do with them. No one likes to work in an environment that feels like an office version of “Hoarders”. If you’ve got a lot of extra junk laying around, move it to off-site storage and make your employees happier.

2. Helps With Moves

Similarly, warehouse space can help you during big moves when you’re still figuring out how to optimize your new office’s functionality. It can be a pain to move an entire office from one space to another.

Moving supplies that are less integral to the operation of your business into storage and gradually removing them is a much more effective way to go about a large-scale move.

Courier companies often offer services that will help you transport your supplies from one office to another, at the same time offering warehouse support for your extra stuff.

3. Warehouse Space For Overstock

If you manufacture products, you can quickly find yourself running out of space of your own. By renting a storage space, you can alleviate the limitations of your own warehouse or office. 

Doing this effectively gives your business some room to operate and grow. It can be difficult to feel like your business is moving forward when you have physical limitations within your office. Freeing up space is as beneficial to your company’s collective psyche as it is to your physical day-to-day operation.

At Chicago Messenger, we offer warehousing, store and ship, and fulfillment for your stock.

4. Fulfillment

One of the incredible benefits of storing your product at Chicago Messenger’s warehouse facilities is our store and ship and fulfillment services. If you don’t know what fulfillment services are, then you’ve been missing out.

With our fulfillment services, you’ll never have to worry about shipping again. The warehousing service stores your products for you, while the fulfillment services take over all of your order picking and shipping needs.

Instead of you requesting an item from us or driving to the storage facility to pick an order, just leave it to the fulfillment team. They integrate with your team to pick, pack, and ship items for you.

5. Expand Reach with Lower Cost

Renting a temporary storage space is much cheaper than buying a larger space of your own. A small monthly fee allows you to have the best of both worlds. It will allow you to expand your reach without breaking the bank.

If you were to purchase space in a warehouse, you’ll have the added headache of providing upkeep and staffing the place. With a rental, it’s all taken care of for you, staff and all.

Expand your reach without the high-risk move of purchasing a new facility. Grow at your own pace.

6. Flexibility

Flexibility is key with businesses that experience ebbs and flows throughout the fiscal year. Renting a monthly storage space gives you a no-commitment space that you can keep during peak times and take off the books during slow periods.

This is hugely beneficial in certain manufacturing industries that pick up rapidly around holidays and grind to a halt during the summer months. When you rent, your mind will be at ease knowing that you can remove the cost of your storage space when you don’t need it.

7. New Resources

Using a third-party storage facility gives you the opportunity to use state of the art technology to organize your stock. Many new warehouses possess sophisticated warehouse management systems with automated inventory, tracking, order fulfillment, and customized racking.

Often, these businesses will also have well-trained staff to help you along in the process of organizing your product. The safe handling and proper organization of your product should be at the forefront of the services provided by the storage facility.

With a temporary storage rental, you get all of these things included in your monthly fee, giving you incredible resources at an affordable price.

Book Your Warehouse Space Today

If you think that your business would benefit from a temporary warehouse space rental, then book with Chicago Messenger today. We’ll work with your needs to provide the best warehousing service possible for your company.

The advantages of having extra space are undeniable. Your office will look better, your employees will feel better, and operations will run smoothly. Check out our services page to find out what we offer and contact us to obtain a quote as soon as possible.

For more articles on how to store and ship your products, visit our blog.


If your company is interested in renting warehouse space right now, one of the things you’re going to learn is that it’s not easy to find it. The warehousing industry is booming at the moment with warehouse vacancies falling dramatically in recent years.

Importance of Warehousing

But that shouldn’t stop you from trying to track warehouse space down anyway. Even though it might be difficult to locate a warehouse for your business at first, the importance of warehousing simply can’t be overstated in this day and age.

There are so many different ways in which warehousing will benefit your company, especially if you’re involved in e-commerce. Here are 7 ways warehousing will help your business.

1. Provides You with a Place to Store Your Products

If you run a tiny business that only has a couple of employees and a few sales every month, you don’t have a whole lot of trouble finding a place to store your products.

However, if you’re running a larger company, there’s a good chance that you don’t have enough room in your business to store everything that you’re selling. And even if you do, trying to run a company while tripping over all the products you have stored in your business isn’t a good way to go about doing things.

A warehouse will provide you with one central location to store all the products that your company creates and sells. It’ll make your business appear a lot more organized and give you some room to breathe in your company’s headquarters.

2. Allows You to Manage Your Inventory More Effectively

As your business grows and starts selling more and more products, inventory management is going to become very important. You’re going to need to create a system that allows you to manage your inventory as effectively as possible.

By managing your inventory, you can:

  • Keep track of how many products you have available and where they’re all located
  • Prevent products from getting stolen or lost during shipping and handling
  • Improve the relationships with any vendors who carry your products
  • Find ways to run your business as a whole more efficiently

Unfortunately, you’re not going to be able to create any kind of inventory management system before you obtain warehouse space. It’ll be almost impossible to do it in the back of your business or down in your business’ basement.

A warehouse will give you the room you’ll need to come up with an inventory management system that works well for your business.

3. Makes It Easier to Ship Products out to Customers

In 2018, people expect the products that they order online to be shipped to them immediately. Studies have shown that, even if you offer free shipping to people, they still want to see their package from you arrive in under five days, which is down a full day from just five years ago.

A centrally located warehouse can make it possible for you to ship items quickly. You can find them in your warehouse and get them in the mail in no time.

You can also offer same-day or next-day shipping to your customers in some instances if you do most of your business in the area surrounding your warehouse. You’ll be able to keep your customers a whole lot happier when you have a fully-functioning warehouse at your disposal.

4. Protects Your Products from Sustaining Damage

If you attempt to store your company’s products inside of your business and something like a theft or fire takes place, it could devastate you and your employees. All of your products will be gone along with many other things that you keep in your business.

A warehouse will help you avoid encountering this situation. Your products will be safer when they’re kept in a warehouse, and just in case anything does happen, they can be covered by an insurance policy.

Additionally, a warehouse will allow you to control the climate in which you store products. If you need to keep the temperature cool, you can do it. You can even obtain refrigerated warehouse space if your company specializes in selling perishable items.

5. Stabilizes the Prices of Your Products

As a business leader, your goal should be to meet the demands of your customers. That means creating enough products to satisfy those who want to buy them.

If your storage space is limited, though, this will likely present a problem. You won’t have enough room to supply the demand of your customers. And it could force you to sporadically raise and lower your prices on products based on the demand for them.

Warehousing will step in and stabilize your product prices by giving you room to store excess goods. You’ll be able to dip into the extra inventory that you keep in your warehouse when the demand for a product rises rather than raising prices.

6. Improves Your Customer Service Capabilities

Providing excellent customer service to those who come to you for your products is essential. People need to get answers to their pressing questions when they call on your customer service department.

A warehouse will enhance your customer service capabilities by providing your customer service representatives with more information. When a customer calls and asks, “Where is the product that I ordered two days ago?!”, a customer service rep will be able to track it in your warehouse and give the customer the information they need.

This will reflect well on your business. It’ll also reemphasize the importance of warehousing.

7. Gives You a Chance to Focus on Other Areas of Your Business

While picking products, packaging them up, and shipping them to customers are all important parts of your business operations, they aren’t things you should be worried about on a daily basis. The head of a company should be focused on big-picture items, not inventory management.

By investing in a warehouse, you’ll give someone else the responsibility of worrying about how to ship products out to customers. It’ll be one less thing that you have to have on your plate all the time.

Don’t Underestimate the Importance of Warehousing

If your company isn’t using a warehouse at the moment, you should reconsider the importance of warehousing to see how it could help you.

You should also consider linking up with a dependable last mile service in the Miami area to handle taking products from your warehouse to your customers’ front doors. It’ll help your business run more smoothly and make your warehouse even more beneficial for your business.

Do you need a hand setting up your warehouse in the first place? Read our blog to see some do and don’ts of warehouse operations.