We’ve Been Asked – And YES ASW has that !

The sales people are hungry, and they are descending on our clients. They come bearing wonderful stories of great things they are offering, and use very modern terms to suggest they are presenting something super new. As a result, we get calls asking if we will be offering a certain feature, and almost every time, the answer is “it’s been in ASW for the past few years.” On the rare occaision that we don’t have it, the concept goes on the TO DO list, we talk with our clients on how to best implement it, and soon we can release it. Here are some of the points that come up:

We are investigating moving to a digital system

You are using a computer. You are on a digital system. ASW is built using the absolute latest programming tools/languages from Microsoft and can handle the very latest digital features released in Windows 10. New term, decades old reality. All computers are digital.

Does ASW have a Inspection program ?

We added the Inspection Checklist in ASW 10. It is fully customizable to your specific needs, very easy to use, attaches to the work order, and is stored in history. The Analysis button includes any areas of concern from the checklist whenever you view it. It is FULLY INTEGRATED into your work process, and of course it is FREE.

What about Service Bulletins ?

When you do a CARFAX service history, it also shows you any recalls or bulletins. Of course, this is integrated into the Analysis button which includes so much more about the vehicle all in one browsable screen.

What about 3rd party programs for CRM, and other services ?

For over 36 years, ASW has focused on client input, using the latest technology, and being INTEGRATED. That means, from one program, you have automatic, or easy, access to additional services. We build in fully automatic interfaces to other services and provide them at no charge. Some of our clients, however, find that those services have no beneficial ROI ( Return On Investment ). For example, those CRM programs seem to only send emails now, and they are not bringing in clients, but they do cost several hundred dollars a month. So we improved the benefits of our internal follow up system. Stage one was a simple, automatic, thank you and follow up email after every service. Stage two added automatic emails for appointment reminders, and incorporated notifications for PM schedules to remind people of needed services. ASW 11 will beef this up even more … and remember, it’s ALL AUTOMATIC and ITS FREE.

How about a Cloud based program so we can access from anywhere ?

How good is your internet connection ? You would need an exceptional broadband setup that is 100% functional 100% of the time. Why? Because if your internet fails, or the service provider has down time, you have NO access to data in real time. Our experience shows that a majority of our clients don’t have very good internet connectivity. Remember, to work online, each machine in the shop would be going across that connection all day long.

You can access your server from a mobile workstation if 1) You have the Advantage Database Server installed, and 2) You have a FIXED IP for your shop ( for your Wide Area Network ).


Most people will use a remote control software ( Team Viewer, Splashtop, or one of the others ) to remote control a computer back in the shop. This is a very inexpensive solution.

Why not support Android or Apple tablets ?

We have the ability to program to those tablets. However, they use operating systems that do not support some of the most essential functionality we need in a true management tool ( like data access and networking features ). Besides, Windows tablets offer far more and are available at very competitive pricing. That is why ASW has a special Tablet Mode that provides just what you need when working in the program and keeps it simple to use.

These are just a few highlights. Finally, a quick story. Several years back, while in a client’s shop, a sales person came in and the owner told me to go converse with him. The rep presented a long pitch that was full of false statements, many about our program, even claiming we had hired them to fix our program. After the noose was tight, I introduced myself and the guy was almost speechless. I asked why the false statements, and he said “It’s only salesmanship”. I replied, “No, it’s dishonest” and his comeback was “These are only auto shop people. That doesn’t matter.” My reply ? “These are our customers, friends, and hardworking business owners/managers. They deserve honesty and respect”. He headed to the restroom to clean up. The point ? If you hear a sales pitch, take time to call or email and see how we address those needs. We can take time to go online and show you how to implement those features you may not know already exist in Auto Shop Writer.

Finally … thanks for being with us … you are appreciated.

ASW 11 Progress Report

Although we hoped to release ASW 11 during the first quarter, we have received great input on desired features. Therefore it will be just a bit longer. Here are some things we have included:

+ We’ve enhanced some of the windows to help better understand the purpose of the function buttons.

+ We’ve enhanced the error reporting system to be more precise.

+ We added the ability to close a year’s payroll until a later date, excluding the new years data.

+ We added new reports, and enhaned others. For example we now have a Sales By Category ( With multiple part type options ), and we’ve added new filters.

+ We’ve done extensive optimization of our code to make it more efficient ( faster ).

+ We’ve simplified our installer processes and eliminated the need for Datamanager. All file work, and settings, can now be done from any computer.

+. We’ve added the option to set printer outputs by default on each computer, to any printer visible to that device ( including network printers ). This allows for centralized printers for checks, estimates/invoices, and tech worksheets.

+. We are adding a printer option that will allow you to have invoices where parts are listed directly below the labor item on which they are used. Of course, you can stay with the traditional output if you prefer.

+ We are adding some options for color in print output.

+ We are adding an option for an alternate database system that provides more security and encryption.

+ We are adding an automated Business Health Report drawn from your daily operations data.

We are also adding in the core and hooks for many additional features to follow including:

– More integration to services, and parts ordering
– Enhancing the email system with full login of everything sent out, connected to the client or vendor to whom they are sent
– Adjustable length of invoice printouts for pre-printed forms
– Electronic signatures for work orders
– Simplified process for images on all inventory items

In addition, we are steadily studying the ability to provide reliable web based services ( not practical unless you have awesome internet connectivity with 99.99999% uptime ) for full remote operations. ( Of course you can remote in via the internet now through multiple means, so call for details ). In addition, we always evaluate viable options for interfacing with other operating systems ( devices ) like Apple and Android. Of course, our decisions are based on reliability, connectivity, and efficiency of the interface capability of that operating system.

If you would like to be a test site for ASW 11, please email timstone@masterlinksoftware.com. The program will be mounted alongside your existing ASW 10, and if you encounter any problems while testing in ASW 11, you can simply perform that work in ASW 10.