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How Technology is Changing the Way We Treat Manufacturing Chain of Custody Documents

Today’s data-driven manufacturing environments simply can’t function at peak efficiency without a digital document management strategy. This is especially evident when you look at the volume of documentation needed to support and optimize the chain of custody process.

Implementing an electronic document management system (EDMS) to replace manual data input and document management can have a significant impact on the chain of custody efficiency, which in turn will have a positive impact on all of your accounts receivable (AR) and accounts payable (AP) process outcomes.

How Electronic Document Management Streamlines the Manufacturing Chain of Custody

Here are five ways an EDMS can sync up the chain of custody document management across all of the disparate systems and inputs manufacturing environments rely on. 

#1 Improve Productivity and Efficiency

Physically tracking down documents, reading them, and entering the appropriate data into your AR system can take hours, if not days. Digitizing invoices, receipts, proof of delivery (PoD), and other business-critical chain of custody documents makes search and retrieval almost instantaneous.

#2 Reduce Errors

Humans being human, they will make mistakes when handling documents or entering data into the AR system. That bad or missing data could then be used as a basis to invoice customers, measure performance, and make business decisions. EDMS technology reduces human intervention so your data records are more accurate, complete, and trustworthy.

33 Streamline Processes

Traditional chain of custody document management workflows often utilize multiple disconnected systems and tools to complete a single AR process. Digital document management software provides a single, centralized solution that simplifies AR workflow management

#4 Improve Customer Experience

Today’s consumers demand quick responses and fast issue resolution. You need to be able to access data instantly instead of wasting time hunting down paper PoDs and misfiled invoices. An EDMS system provides electronic invoicing, automatic account updates, and digital delivery receipts, so your customers get answers quickly and you get instant AR data for tracking and reporting.  

#5 Increase Profits

Paper-based AR processes are as expensive as they are inefficient. The time and costs of data entry and manual business processes create a lag in collection and reconciliation. EDMS reduces those costs and optimizes processes, which minimizes write-offs and enables AR to collect more efficiently. 

How an Electronic Document Management System Adds Value to Your AR Processes 

There are a lot of opportunities for error and financial loss when the chain of custody is handled manually. Implementing an EDMS can help reduce risk, ensure compliance, and protect revenue from order to reconciliation.

Centralized Storage

Centralizing your digitalized documents in a cloud repository ensures your files are instantly available from anywhere and eliminates the need for expensive physical storage space.

Information Capture and Enrichment

Automated document scanning and data extraction technology captures and recognizes critical chain of custody data and feeds it to your AR software quickly and accurately. This enriched data helps standardize AR inputs, resulting in better-quality data and deeper business insights.

Access Management

Digital document management allows you to set access permissions, to control who can view, alter, and share sensitive documents and data. This is especially important for the chain of custody because you can track who accessed what and when. 

Searchable, Actionable Data

EDMS provides hierarchical structure, metadata, search, and archival functionalities that make it easy for authorized users to locate files and information across folders and repositories through every step in the chain.

Collaboration and Communication

Electronic document management systems facilitate collaboration across teams and locations with cloud-based multi-site capabilities and concurrent document usage.


Automated version control helps ensure that the most up-to-date and accurate information is always available to business users and the AR system. This helps prevent bad data from disrupting AR processes.

Compliance and Security

An EDMS can provide compliance-friendly audit trails, version control, record retention schedules, and document access policies that ensure regulatory requirements are being maintained, so you avoid legal trouble.

Electronic document management systems are an essential tool for streamlining your chain of custody processes throughout the AR lifecycle—from order and invoice to reconciliation and reporting. Your EDMS can help optimize AR by creating accurate, complete, and trustworthy chain of custody data records for measuring performance, increasing revenue, and improving customer experience. 


Start making the most of your data today.