How Intelligent Information Management Enhances Agricultural Efficiency

IIM in Agriculture

Running a successful farm relies on informed decisions; like all organizations, those decisions are fueled by information. Whether maintaining regulatory compliance, managing contracts, or ensuring smooth financial operations, agriculture requires a controlled but accessible flow of data that, when bottlenecked by manual processes, can lead to disorganization, sour vendor relationships, legal penalties, and lengthy, inefficient processes. Intelligent information management solutions eliminate these bottlenecks and free data for a more agile, easy-to-work-with, compliant, and efficient agricultural operation. We’re tackling key agricultural ECM system benefits and how furthering intelligent information can enhance operational efficiency below.

Streamline Legal and Compliance Needs

Disorganized contract management and an overflow of mandatorily retained documents create chaos and confusion when crucial information needs referencing. Whether resolving vendor disputes, renegotiating agreement terms, or eliminating legal and compliance risks, instant access to the necessary records ensures swift results for your agricultural operation.

Full Contract Visibility

Contracts with vendors for supplies and services such as fertilizer, pesticides, livestock medication, and more are often numerous and subject to change with each renewal. These same challenges apply to lease contracts for propane and other financed equipment. With hectic sign-off and approval processes and multiple versions of the same contracts creating confusion, enforcing current terms and tracking renewal dates can only be achievable with proper solutions and processes in place.

By storing these contracts in a full-text searchable enterprise content management system, they can be easily located, ensuring a quick response in the event of term disputes or renegotiations. Storing contracts in an ECM solution with version control ensures all employees are working with the most current versions of these contracts, eliminating confusion and disorganization. A solution with workflow capabilities can also issue automatic reminders about upcoming contract renewal dates, improve vendor relationships, and prevent automatic renewals in the event of renegotiations.

Complete Regulatory Compliance

This information visibility extends to more than just contracts, though. Documents like line of credit approvals and scale tickets for grain purchased and sold must be retained by law. This is because, in the event of a dispute, both buyers and vendors must have evidence that the specifications of the purchased grain were agreed upon and that the buyer was deemed credit-worthy if goods were sold on credit. Failing to retain scale tickets can result in penalties of up to $11,000 through the P & S Act and failing to retain credit applications can result in legal liabilities for the dispute of up to $10,000.

By capturing key index fields in these documents with optical character recognition and automatically routing them to the correct repository for archival, an enterprise content management solution will facilitate convenient access to this information when needed, swiftly resolving disputes and eliminating legal risks.

Efficient Administrative Processes

Agricultural operations often receive numerous shipments from vendors and sell large amounts of meat, dairy, produce, and other goods to distributors. What’s more, much of this business is done on credit, meaning that streamlining accounts payable and receivable in agriculture is absolutely essential to strong vendor relationships and prompt revenue recognition.

Accounts Payable

Invoices for farm equipment, grain, and other resources must be checked against purchase orders and packing slips, approved by management, archived, and entered into an accounting or ERP solution like AgVantage for payable invoice generation and general ledger coding. The sheer volume of these invoices can often lead to challenges in scaling accounts payables departments and bottlenecks in the approval process, leading to further delays.

With workflow-based enterprise content management, invoices are automatically matched and routed to approvers, who are notified via email that an invoice needs attention. If a set response time elapses, these invoices can even be routed to a different approver. AI-assisted capture also reduces solution set-up costs that result from numerous vendors while also capturing invoice data for payable invoice generation, general ledger coding, and even inventory management in ERP solutions like AgVantage.

Accounts Receivable

Accounts receivable departments face similar efficiency challenges but for slightly different reasons. For example, invoice payments are often met with effortful follow-ups to customers to collect revenue after goods are sold. Customers may also need help with their own document challenges, further slowing the revenue collection process as they try to figure out if the goods were ever delivered.

What’s more, sales orders must also be entered into an accounting or ERP system, which, when done manually, can take tremendous amounts of time and cause prolonged days of outstanding sales. Using enterprise content management streamlines the management of delivery tickets and invoices, ensuring your agricultural operation can prove that goods were delivered. This document access also ensures visibility into customer payment status to easily see if a payment reminder needs to be sent.

These documents can even be digitally checked for this payment status to prompt automatic reminders, saving further time. All of these documents can be captured through OCR or web forms so that the data can be effortlessly shared with your farm’s accounting or ERP solution.


By implementing intelligent information management solutions, agricultural operations can control their data flow to streamline operational efficiency, ensure regulatory compliance, enhance vendor relationships, and eliminate legal risks.

How Square 9 Can Help

Square 9 Softworks is an industry-leading provider of an AI-powered intelligent information management platform that takes the paper out of agriculture and makes it easier to get things done. By combining the best in enterprise content management for simplified compliance and enhanced vendor relationships with back-office automation tools like invoice matching and routing and OCR technology that saves time and prevents costly errors, Square 9 offers intuitive, scalable solutions that will empower your organization for years to come.

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