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The Datacor Blog

What is a Certificate of Analysis? Why It's Necessary & How To Create One (With Template)

February 26, 2024 by Caitlin O'Donnell

A certificate of analysis (CoA) is an essential document in chemical distribution that outlines all the tests performed on a product before it is shipped to a customer. However, manual creation of CoAs is time consuming and increases the risk of input errors. Datacor’s software solution is specifically designed to facilitate the process of CoA generation, customization and record keeping.

In this post, we'll cover some of the fundamental information related to CoAs, including the following:

What is a Certificate of Analysis?

Chemical manufacturers and distributors must be able to demonstrate that the products they supply have met the requested specifications and passed all quality assurance tests. A Certificate of Analysis (CoA) is a document that does exactly that – it summarizes all the tests performed on a product and gives the needed reassurance to the customers. It is therefore an essential document for most companies in the chemical and food sector.

A CoA is usually required whenever a customer needs to report to a regulatory agency or a government body. These typically include the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) or The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

CoAs vary depending on the product, as each chemical is subject to different regulations. Moreover, a customized CoA has to be issued for every customer – even if they are purchasing the same product, their requirements or specification may vary.

If carried out manually, the process of filling a CoA is fairly time consuming and can be prone to errors. It’s also often difficult for suppliers and distributors to keep track of the various assurance tests that customers require.

Certificate of Analysis Requirements

While information going into a CoA may vary, there are certain tests commonly performed on chemical products. Examples of such tests include percentage of solid and pH, as well as percentage of moisture and viscosity.

Datacor’s enterprise resource planning (ERP) software makes everything far simpler. The CoA generated contains the following information:

  • The name and logo of the company.
  • The product that is being certified.
  • The lot number assigned by the manufacturer.
  • The name of the customer set to receive the batch.
  • All the tests performed on the product.
  • Property of the product, which may include size, color and components.
  • The specification, establishing the criteria for the product to be considered acceptable by the customer.
  • All the test results.
  • The approval date.

How to Create a Certificate of Analysis with Datacor

Manual creation of CoAs complicates the process as it slows it down and increases the risk of inputting the wrong information by mistake. Other pain points could include the storing and sharing of certificates, as well tracking specific pieces of information in their text.

Companies that do not use a specialized ERP system traditionally rely on Microsoft Word templates to generate their CoAs.

However, the amount of customization involved in the creation of a separate CoA for each customer is too great and makes tracking each individual customer’s specifications too challenging.

Users that generate many CoAs, therefore, will need a much more dynamic tool to complete the task efficiently.

Datacor’s ERP is one of the few software solutions that can generate CoAs as it is specifically designed to meet the needs of the chemical manufacturing and distribution industry.

It allows users to keep records of the tests required by each customer and then quickly insert the results that validate those specifications.

There are three major features that distinguish Datacor’s ERP functionality from other software alternatives:

  1. It allows users to customize each CoA according to their individual requests and specifications. That is particularly useful in cases when separate customers require different specification, tests, or acceptable ranges for the same product.

  2. The generation of CoAs happens automatically whenever the user generates its shipping documents in Datacor’s ERP. If the shipment includes multiple products, a separate CoA will be attached to each line item ordered. A supplier CoA will be attached even if quality control has not been performed prior to shipping. This is very helpful for factory pack distributors that are not required to perform quality control checks on each batch but still need to provide proof that the product they ship meets the requirements of the customer. In such instances, Datacor’s ERP will automatically attach the CoA that comes from the supplier.

  3. The ERP will also generate a CoA PDF Stamp, which can be attached to the CoAs of the separate certified suppliers. This is useful for the distributors as it is a quick and easy way to assure customers that the product they are receiving has been thoroughly reviewed and certified before being shipped. A stamp saying “Reviewed and Certified by [name of the company]” can be added to the original CoA each time the distributor is shipping product from the said supplier. This saves distributors a lot of time – particularly when they receive a large amount of a product, which they are later packaging into smaller quantities for separate customers.

A Certificate of Analysis is a vitally important resource that prove products meet the required standards and are fit for purpose. Datacor ERP helps to simplify and optimize the entire CoA generation process.

Example CoA Template

Sample COA


To learn how Datacor ERP can help your company streamline business operations, sign up for a personalized demo today.

Related Questions

How can an ERP system benefit my business?
Enterprise Resource Planning helps to keep your business connected and automate everything from manufacturing and procurement to sales and logistics.

What are the main Features of Datacor’s ERP software for process manufacturing?
Datacor ERP offers far more than certificate of analysis (COA) creation. Our software includes key features such as demand planning and forecasting, recipe and formula management, and master production scheduling (MPS).

How do I demo Datacor ERP?
Want to learn more? Get in touch to request a free no-obligation demo of Datacor ERP.

Topics: FDA, Datacor ERP

Caitlin O'Donnell

Written by Caitlin O'Donnell

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