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R.O. Writer Upgrades

Once you have been running R.O. Writer for a while, you may find that your business has been growing, and it is time for your R.O. Writer to grow with you. Below are the available options for R.O. Writer. Also, R.O. Writer clients are eligible for a free internet marketing analysis. Click here for more details.

Additional User Licenses

Each workstations running R.O. Writer requires a User License. The Lite version of R.O. Writer supports up to 3 total workstations. The Pro version of R.O. Writer supports unlimited workstations. You can purchase additional individual user licenses to install R.O. Writer on additional workstations in your shop.

Lite to Pro Upgrade

At AMS, our mission is to outfit your shop with a management software solution that suits your needs. No two shops are the same. That’s why we offer two versions of the R.O. Writer platform, and a broad suite of optional modules. Over time, your shop will grow, and you will find that it is time to upgrade to the Professional version of R.O. Writer.

R.O. Writer Pro is our flagship solution, built to deliver the most robust functionality in the auto shop management industry. Pro-Lite is a more affordable, less inclusive version of Pro, built to accommodate the needs and budgets of smaller shops. With the flexibility of R.O. Writer’s “building-block” approach, you have an easy upgrade path if you want to start with Lite, and transition to Pro later, as your business grows.

Often the decision between Pro and Pro-Lite is as simple as counting the number of staff members who will be using R.O. Writer. Lite can accommodate up to three users. Pro can handle an unlimited number of users (separate license required for each computer/user).

There are a number of additional features that are available in Pro that are not included in Pro-Lite. Among the key features:


  1. Ability to have more than 3 workstations – Pro allows you to have unlimited workstations, but each workstation does require its own user license.
  2. Smart Linear Parts Pricing – this feature alone will pay for the upgrade. This adds the ability to do Linear pricing on parts, which will provide a 2-4% increase in your parts margin without raising prices
  3. Smart Labor Pricing – Ability to apply a price matrix to your Labor charges
  4. Advanced Scheduler – Able to view the calendar by technician, and by resource
  5. Oil Sticker Printer Interface included – No additional charge for the OCSP interface
  6. Ability to customize the Work in Progress screen – This is the screen that your service writers use day in and day out. Make sure it is customized so that it shows the information they need, and only the information they need.
  7. Optional Accounts Payable Module – The Accounts Payable module is not available with the Lite version of R.O. Writer, but you can add it with the Pro version. This allows you to track your parts inventory from the minute it comes in the door.
  8. Employee Time Clock – Replace that old time clock with an electronic one. Employees clock in and out, and R.O. Writer tracks the hours.
  9. Labor Time Tracking – Have you technicians clock in and out of labor operations, and you have the ability to compare actual time to do repairs, vs book time.
  10. Parts only tickets – If you ever sell parts without labor, a Parts Only ticket is the best way.
  11. Multiple Technicians on a single labor operation – For some complex labor operations, you may have multiple technicians working on the same job. The Pro version of R.O. Writer lets you add multiple technicians to a single labor operation, and decide what percentage each technician gets credit for.
  12. Fleet Wizard and Fleet Management – Track customer fleets, including 3rd party payment fleets.
Is the Upgrade to the Professional version right for me?

check-markYes – If you need to add a fourth workstation

check-markYes – If the 2-4% parts margin increase from Smart Linear Parts Pricing more than pays for the upgrade in less than a year

check-markYes – If I want to track your parts inventory from the minute it comes in the door

SMART E CAT – ESTIMATES, PARTS, PRICING Estimates in Under 60 Seconds

Can you write an accurate estimate for a water pump, timing belt and front crank seal – including labor charges – in less than 60 seconds? With Smart eCat the answer is YES.

One of the primary components of the R.O. Writer workflow, Smart eCat is a powerful multi-vendor catalog and estimating tool. No other software in the industry lets you connect automatically to so many major parts suppliers. View their pricing and availability simultaneously, on the same screen!

Smart eCat improves your shop profitability by saving time, simplifying pricing, improving margins and preparing accurate estimates for your customers, more easily than ever before.

How Smart eCat works

Using the vehicle information that’s already in your R.O. Writer system, and the Epicor catalog, Smart eCat polls up to 10 of your vendors, allowing you to select the vendor with the right pricing and availability. R.O. Writer’s linear pricing automatically provides you with better margins. Then select the appropriate labor. Drop the parts and labor on the ticket, and once the customer approves the estimate, easily order the parts online. . The easy, step-by-step system ensures accuracy on all estimates, while protecting your profits.

Your entire estimating process just became amazingly efficient!

Watch this demo video to see Smart eCat’s fast, easy estimating process

Preparing an Estimate with Smart eCat – Simple steps for working in Smart eCat:


  1. Select a Repair Job containing a customer and vehicle
  2. Open Smart eCat, or select a Smart Job that you have customized for your shop. The Smart Job will guide you thru the parts and labor that you have decided are right for this job.
  3. View pricing and availability from multiple parts vendors, and select the part from the vendor with the best pricing and availability. Repeat for each part.
  4. View labor times using the integrated labor guide.
  5. Post the selected parts and labor to the ticket, and Smart eCat with automatically include parts from your inventory and pre-defined labor operations.
  6. Review the estimate with the customer
  7. Once you get the go ahead, place the order for the parts electronically with a single click

Compare the Smart eCat process to the way you have to do things now. With your current method, you may decide to check only one parts supplier if you’re in a rush. That probably means you’re paying too much for parts. However, if you want find the best deal, you have to check multiple suppliers – and you know what a hassle that is. You have to enter the car data, look up the parts, check the price (write it down!), check availability… and then start all over again with every supplier.

Smart eCat lets you compare and optimize your pricing, without wasting your time. The result: better margins, improved productivity. And your customers get accurate estimates, fast.

In addition, with Smart eCat you also get:

  • Monthly updates with the latest vehicle information
  • Epicor catalog information
  • Parts pictures from most suppliers
  • Labor times
  • Tire fitment
  • VIN decoding
  • Factory-scheduled maintenance information
Is Smart eCat is right for me?

check-markYes – If it currently takes too much time to generate estimates (more than 5 minutes)

check-markYes – If I no longer want to go to five different websites to look up parts, or if I want to reduce the time my service writers are on the phone with part suppliers so they can spend more time educating your customers

check-markYes – If I want to make sure you get the best price, on the right part, every time


Your open accounts represent money that should be in your pocket. But tracking and collecting receivables is a necessary task that few people enjoy. R.O. Writer’s Accounts Receivable module (A/R) helps ease and automate that task for you.

The A/R module allows you to close out tickets when they are complete, and if the customer has not paid you for the work, you can close the remaining charge to A/R. The A/R module allows you to set credit limits and handles posting payments, statements and finance charges. Best of all, this module gives you control over your open accounts and makes sure you don’t miss out on income that is rightfully yours.

Statistics show that the longer an account goes unpaid, the less likely you are to ever collect it. The A/R module ensures you’ll never miss the opportunity to gently remind your customers that their bill is due.

Fleet Accounts and 3rd Party Payments – Do you have any fleet accounts? Or any scenario in which the person paying the bill is not the same as the person/business that owns the vehicle? The A/R module gives you the flexibility to manage these payments, whether your customer is a large transportation business, or a parent getting service on their teenager’s car.

Tracking and Reporting – Track all your receivables with an audit trail of account balances, payments, credits, receipts, new charges, account aging and history. The system will detail and flag all open charges for collection calls, and then print call-back lists. The R.O. Writer A/R module organizes all your customer payment info, generating the reports you need to optimize your collections activity.

Is the A/R Module right for me?

check-markYes – If tracking and collecting on past-due accounts is a challenge

check-markYes – If I work with fleet customers

check-markYes – If customers occasionally pick up their cars without paying in full


R.O. Writer’s Accounts Payable Module (A/P) helps you manage all your expenses and outbound payments. It will track your spending by supplier, and track invoice payments. With this important tool, you can keep tight controls on all supplier purchases and ensure you are billed accurately, and only for items you actually receive.

*Note: The A/P Module is available in the Pro version of R.O. Writer only; not in Pro-Lite

A/P Module Uses:

  • Track supplier accounts and open balances
  • Review your Accounts Payable status and history
  • Post invoice details directly to Repair Orders

Working in the A/P Module: Use-Case Scenario – Ever have to order two versions of the same part so you can meet a customer’s repair deadline? Obviously you want to keep track of the unused part and return it to the supplier after your repair job is done. And you need to make sure you are credited correctly for that returned part.

Here’s how R.O. Writer’s A/P Module helps you manage this scenario. When you receive the parts, you usually receive the corresponding invoices as well. Click on “Post AP” in your module, select the suppliers, and log the specific parts that arrived. The module will post the expense amounts to your R.O. Writer system. After you determine which part to return, make a quick “Return” entry in the system. The system will track both the payments and the credit received for the returned part. You will be able to tell if you incorrectly get credit only for a Core Return and not a Part Return. Reports generated at the end of the week, month or quarter will confirm all transactions.

Reporting – The A/P Module’s robust reporting functionality gives you a complete picture of all your supplier accounts. You can manage and track payment due dates by supplier, category, paid and unpaid, check or cash, etc. You can also generate reports on the age of outstanding debts.

Is the A/P Module right for me?

check-markYes – If I want to track part purchases as soon as they enter the shop

check-markYes – If I sometimes order two similar parts to ensure I have the right one, and then have trouble getting proper credit for the returned item

check-markYes – If I am using R.O.Writer Pro (The A/P module is not available with Pro-Lite)


If your customers need something for their car, they should automatically think of you. You should be their go-to guy, without hesitation. So, how do you stay foremost in the minds of your customers? How do you motivate them to bring their cars in? How do you get them to refer their friends? With R.O.Writer’s Marketing Module.

This easy-to-use module is the only tool you need to launch simple marketing campaigns that will increase your car count and sales, while strengthening your bond with the customer.

How the Marketing Module Works – Simple marketing outreach has proven results, and it will work for you. Our Marketing module can automatically send letters, emails and promotions to your customers. Thank them for their business. Remind them when they’re due for an oil change, a tune-up or a tire rotation. Offer them a special discount if they refer a friend.

This module includes an advanced word processor that helps you create custom templates for marketing communications, with your logo and web links. You can use the provided form letters, or create your own. In addition to marketing content, the system can also send customers follow-up emails or letters containing finalized repair order details.

Smart marketing stems from good data analysis. This module has built-in marketing reports to help you analyze your customer base to determine your best go-forward strategy. For example, you can evaluate which types of repairs generate the most business or which promotions yielded the best customer response.

Is the Marketing Module right for me?

check-markYes – If I want to increase my car count

check-markYes – If I want to remind my customers when their vehicle needs servicing

check-markYes – If I want to track Declined Services, Needed Services, and generate Automated Follow ups every time a specific labor operation is performed

Inventory Module

Inventory is money sitting on the shelf. But it is sometimes necessary to provide your customers with the best service. R.O. Writer’s Inventory module takes the guess work out of Inventory, and keeps more of that money in your pocket.

To provide your customers with prompt service, you likely keep an inventory of frequently used parts on hand. The key to inventory optimization is in managing your shop’s inventory to the appropriate level and maximizing the profit on your inventory investment. The Inventory Module gives you total control over all aspects of your parts inventory, and lets you manage what you have on your shelves. With the module’s reporting capability you can review your parts ordering history, track Core charges, and see exactly what parts you are using and how often so you can control how many units you need on hand to service your customers.

Set Stocking Levels

Set minimum and maximum stocking levels. This allows R.O. Writer to create a reorder report that allows you to see exactly what parts you need to order, and how much. You can also see 12 months of sales history, and average 30 day usage to help make an intelligent decision on when to reorder.

Smart eCat will check your local inventory first

If you are using the Smart eCat module for online ordering, anytime you look up a part, Smart eCat will first check your local inventory to see if you already have it in stock. This saves time and money, and the aggravation of ordering a part only to find it already sitting on your shelf.

Is the Inventory Module right for me?

check-markYes – Do I want to know how much money I have tied up in Inventory? Do I need to provide that amount to my CPA?

check-markYes – Am I using Smart eCat, and do I want it to check my local inventory first

check-markYes – Do I stock more parts than I need, or run out of parts that should be on the shelf?


Separate from the integration within Smart eCat, R.O. Writer also offers direct connections to parts suppliers thru electronic interfaces. These interfaces allow you with 1 click to go from R.O. Writer, to the suppliers website. R.O. Writer transfers over the Year, Make, and Model of the Vehicle, saving you significant time, and offers the ability to Post any parts you select back to the ticket in R.O. Writer automatically, avoiding re-entering the data and possible typos.

Some of the integrated interfaces that are available:

  • Alldata interface – Requires an Alldata Connect account
  • Napa Prolink Interface
  • Worldpac SpeedDial interface
  • Carroll Tire Interface – New with version 1.29
  • American Tire Interface – New with version 1.30

In addition R.O. Writer works with several interface technology suppliers, which allows R.O. Writer to connect to suppliers that use these interface technologies. The available options are:

  • Nexpart
  • Aconnex
  • WISEconnect
  • DST Catalogs
  • Turbopart
  • Motorcraft eCounter
  • ACDelco WIP
  • IAP
  • Autoi
  • Auto Value
  • Bumper to Bumper