A full ERP system designed by Info-Power International for distribution/wholesale trade and manufacturing companies.

About ABW…A Better Way

ABW…A Better Way is a full featured, modular manufacturing, distribution, and supply chain application. ABW offers extensive capabilities to satisfy the entire requirements of the enterprise. ABW can run locally on your hardware or in the cloud.

ABW is simple and economical enough to be easily implemented by a small manufacturer with no prior manufacturing software exposure. Yet, it is sophisticated enough to accommodate the needs almost any size manufacturer.

The philosophy at Info-Power International, the developers of ABW, is that we should provide a system that will allow you to run your business as your business dictates. Not change your business to run our application. Starting with the existing full featured system, we will work with you to customize ABW, so it functions how you need it to.

With ABW…A Better Way there are no licensing fee and no recurring annual fees! You can reinvest that money into your business system. You will only pay for the services that you require from us, typical services are consulting, project management, data conversion, training, and program modifications.

Operating Environment

ABW is developed using Microsoft tools and technology.

  • Microsoft SQL Server
  • .Net Framework
  • SSRS – Report Definition Language

This was done to preserve our customer’s long-term investment. We have customers entering their third decade using ABW.

Accounts Payable

  • Recurring Payables
  • Vendor Invoice Entry
  • Voucher Register/Posting
  • Expense Invoices
  • Deposits Against Purchase Orders
  • Receiver Invoices with Purchase Price Variance
  • Manual Checks
  • Payment Selection by Various Methods
  • Check Printing
  • A/P Aging Report
  • Multi-Currency Codes
  • Open Item and Check Inquiry
  • Check Reconciliation

Payables handles all Vendor Invoice processing, Check Printing and Reconciliation, Purchase Price Variance, and 1099 Year End processing.

Accounts Receivable

  • Cash Receipts Entry
  • Cash Receipts Journal & Posting
  • On Account Cash
  • Cash Receipts Entry
  • Cash Receipts Journal & Posting
  • On Account Cash
  • Sales Order Prepayments
  • Cash Application
  • A/R Adjustment
  • Open Item Inquiry
  • Aged Trial Balance
  • Collection Notes and History
  • Credit Evaluation
  • A/R Monthly Posting Report
  • A/R Statement
  • Collection Letters

A/R and Non-A/R Cash Receipts are processed here. Multiple Currency Codes are supported. Open Item and A/R History Inquiry provide immediate access. Sales Order Prepayments

Ad Hoc Reporting

How many times have you looked at a report and wished it sorted differently? With our Stored Procedures you can copy over one of our MS-RDL and change or add the Grouping in the report. This will change the sort sequence in the report.

Your modified reports can use the same screen as ours. Your reports can be added to our Report Control, Report Interface and Menu. This is all possible because you have Complete Source Code to everything.

Even better, how often have you seen a report and wished you had that data in Excel. Using our Data Export tool and SQL Queries, you can extract data directly into Excel. Allowing you to do many different things that we never thought of. You can use our Stored Procedure as the Query source for your Excel spreadsheet. Modify the data and subtotal the data as you wish in Excel to meet your presentation needs. Create Graphs or Pie Charts or whatever else Excel supports.

All this is possible since you have Complete Source Code!

Bill of Material and Bill of Route

The Bill of Material/Routing module contains the material, labor operations (route steps) and outside processing requirements for finished and semi-finished parts and/or products. Generic material and route codes may be assigned in the inventory master file. Using these generic codes, jobs can be created for specific items without requiring the creation of a unique BOM.

Some BOM Features

  • Unlimited parent-child relationships
  • Up to 24 character item number
  • Where used count updated to inventory master
  • Auto-assignment of low level BOM codes
  • Automatic BOM creation using optional CAD Integration module

CAD Integration

The optional CAD Integration module enables ABW to take component information from a CAD drawing and automatically create a bill of materials. Typically, an engineer will create a drawing and identify the components, dimensions and placement of materials on the image. Someone else interprets the information and enters data into the system. Not only is that time consuming, it introduces the potential for error. The CAD Integration module eliminates this error prone, time consuming process by establishing the drawing as the source of BOM and route information.

Cash Management

  • Considers the following with manual overrides:
    • Accounts Payable
    • Accounts Receivable
    • Payroll
    • Purchase Orders
    • Quotes
    • Sales Orders
  • Supports Multiple Cash Accounts
  • Supports Special Deposits
  • Supports Special Expenditures
  • Calculates projected weekly cash balance with cash flow change by week

Spend your time analyzing your projected cash position instead of creating spreadsheets that are quickly outdated.


  • Provides an Unlimited Number of Models
  • Each Model has its own set of Questions & Rules
  • Each Model can have Custom Calculation Logic
  • Questions can be Inputs or Drop Down Selections with attached notes
  • Drop Down Lists can be defined without any Programming
  • Drop Down Rules can be defined without any Programming
  • Drop Down Rules turn available answers on/off
  • Generates a Custom BOM based on user inputs
  • Generates Unique Items to meet exact Customer Requirements
  • Bill of Material, Route and Outside Process created from inputs
  • Automatic calculation of price, cost, and miscellaneous charges
  • Automatically populates Quote Detail with Item Code

The ability to Create a unique Item based on Customer requirements, Populate the Quote, and then Generate a Work Order saves countless hours of data entry.

Cost Management

The Cost Management module employs several methods to capture and analyze costs such as raw material, labor, overhead, waste and outside processing. Costs are posted to individual jobs and to the general ledger as transactions are processed. Actual costs are compared to projected (budgeted) costs and variances are displayed. Any remaining variances are posted at job completion.

Some Costing Features

  • Unlimited user-defined cost models
  • Automated roll-up to standard cost in inventory
  • Integration with BOM, Inventory, Job Processing and accounting

Customer Relationship Management

  • Built using VB.Net and SQL Server
  • Resides in your ABW database for easy access to Customer and Vendor data
  • Ability to import external prospect lists
  • Categorize Contacts by Call Group, Mail Group, Status, Sales Rep
  • Sales Automation Tools such as Email, Label Generation and Microsoft Word integration
  • Tracking of Calls, Contacts, Mailings, and Presentations at your finger tips
  • User Defined fields that allow you to collect additional data with no programming changes
  • Daily Activity reports and Summary of Contact Status
  • Setting of Alerts to remind you of future contacts
  • Ability to link to Customer or Vendor data or other ABW reports

We built the CRM module after years of frustration with other products that used proprietary databases. The ability to customize the interface and flow of data to automate the Sales process is invaluable.

Data Collection

  • Collect Shop Floor Data to reduce back office input
  • Control the flow through Repetitive Pay Points
  • Utilize scanning devices or other specialized devices for Data Collection
  • Collect Time and Attendance
  • Mobile Device Interface
  • Collect Labor Transactions
  • Accumulate Production Posting at Pay Points
  • Update WIP and General Ledger
  • Use standard PC’s and ABW Shop for Data Collection
  • Collect Labor Transactions
  • Capture Production Quantities and Step Completion
  • Input PO Receipts Quantity Received and Quantity Rejected
  • Compare Shop Floor time to Payroll

Data Collection can be accomplished via Specialized Shop Floor Terminals or through standard PC’s to cut down on back office input and data entry errors.

Financial Reporting

  • Define Report Header with Number and Description
  • Define Column Headings and Print Position
  • Column Content can be Actual/Budget Dollars or Quantities or a Calculation
  • Define the Detail Lines to print on the Report
  • Detail Line types include Blank, Underline, Regular, Subtotal, Title Line
  • Link G/L Accounts to Report Detail Lines
  • If multiple Department-based reports are required, define Departments
  • Define Major and Sub Accounts
  • Define Report Format
  • Define Report Type and Columns
  • Generate Report Definitions
  • Print Financial Reports for any Period requested
  • Export Financial Reports to Excel

Financial Reports are defined to link G/L accounts and summarize according to your reporting needs. This is in addition to traditional G/L reports.

Fixed Assets

  • Asset Entry
  • Capx Number
  • Location Code
  • Department
  • Separate Codes for Deprecation for Tax and Book
  • Class Code
  • Cost Basis
  • Estimated Life
  • Depreciation Method
  • Depreciation Calculate/Posting
  • Asset Disposal
  • Depreciation Worksheet

Fixed Assets provides Tax and Book Depreciation schedules. Assets can be tied to Capx Numbers, Location Codes, or Departments.

General Ledger

  • Recurring Journal Processing
  • Journal Entry/Posting
  • Unposted Journals Report
  • Account Allocations Update
  • G/L Account Inquiry / Drilldown
  • G/L Search
  • Actual / Budgeted Quantities
  • Actual / Budgeted Dollars
  • Multiple Currencies
  • Fiscal Periods defined by you
  • Journal Code and Period Control
  • Multiple Periods Open Across Modules
  • Sales/COGS Control

All modules post to the Unposted Journals table for your review. After Journals are posted, complete history is maintained in detail for future reference.

Human Resources

  • Applicant Entry and Search
  • Employee Entry and Search
  • Attendance Records
  • Employee Dependent Information
  • Employee Qualifications
  • Safety Violations
  • Employee Warnings
  • Status Change Forms
  • Personal Time Off
  • Perfect Attendance Report
  • Employee Change Audit Trail
  • Control Codes Defined by You

This module tracks and manages New Applicants and Employees ý Data and Forms related to Employees, Employee family, status, and qualifications.

Inventory Control

ABW Inventory features multiple warehouse capability. Warehouses can be both physical locations and logical locations to accommodate situations such as consignment inventories.

The ABW Inventory system tracks inventory quantities at the warehouse level. All updates to inventory are tracked and stored in a transaction file as either an activity or a transaction. Activities are updates to the on-order or committed quantities. Transactions involve any effect to the on-hand quantity.

Some Inventory Features

  • Both vendor and manufacturer maintained by item
  • CAD drawing viewer
  • Actual, average and standard cost captured for each transaction
  • G/L posting definition tied to item
  • User defined fields for your unique information
  • Buyers and planners can be assigned to individual items


  • Invoice Entry
  • Credit Memo/Debit Memo Processing
  • Print Invoices
  • Invoice Acknowledgements may be Printed, Faxed or Emailed to Customer
  • Print Invoice Register
  • Invoice History Inquiry
  • Reverse Invoice
  • Invoicing updates Accounts Receivable
  • Invoicing updates General Ledger and posts COGS
  • Sales Reports by Customer, Inventory Item, or Buying Group
  • Sales Reports by Commodity Code or Warehouse
  • Gross Margin Analysis

After Shipments are posted, Inventory is updated and Invoicing can now be processed. Invoicing updates Accounts Receivable and Sales Analysis History.

Job and Work Order Processing

ABW Job Processing permits entry and tracking of production work orders including material commitment, pick list printing, material requisition, labor entry and posting all the way through to production posting. Jobs can be monitored throughout the manufacturing process.

Some Job Processing Features

  • BOM not required to create a job
  • Routes include labor steps with run and setup time
  • Material shortages are calculated and displayed
  • Due date tracking
  • Integrated with BOM, Inventory, Costing and Accounting
  • Interface with optional MRP and CRP modules

Job Costing

  • Every single Work Order in the system is tracked
  • Material input debits WIP
  • Labor performed debits WIP
  • Labor Rate Variance is identified immediately
  • Outside Processing Invoices debit WIP
  • Production Posting credits WIP and debits Inventory
  • Scrap Posting credits WIP and debits Scrap Expenses
  • Cost adjustments affect WIP and the offsetting account input by you
  • Work Order is completed
  • Indirect Work Orders are expensed when being processed
  • Other Work Orders create a Closing Variance to be analyzed
  • WIP Inventory Valuation allows you to identify and fix problems

Job Costing of every Work Order–be they Discrete, Repetitive, Process, Direct, or Indirect–and understanding their related Variances, is essential to control.

Labor Reporting

  • Labor Entry by Employee
  • By Work Order and Line Number
  • Includes Time Type (Setup or Production)
  • Split out Overtime and Doubletime
  • Optionally report Quantity Produced, Scrapped and Moved
  • Indicate if Step Complete
  • Quick Labor Entry by Employee
  • Report Work Order, Line Number, Hours, Quantity Produced, and Step Complete
  • Detailed Interface to WIP and General Ledger
  • Labor Rate Variance Calculated Automatically
  • Time Variance versus Standard Time in Bill of Route
  • Comparison to Time Reported to Payroll System

Labor Reporting can come from a number of sources such as the detail Labor Entry screen, the Quick Labor Entry screen and Data Collection, which is discussed later.

Lean Manufacturing

  • No need to open Work Orders or print Shop Travelers
  • Pull products through the manufacturing process
  • Utilize electronic Kanban tags to trigger replenishment
  • Simplify the process of cycle counting by use of containers
  • Use barcodes whenever possible to identify movement of products
  • Streamline the Financial Statements to make them easier to understand
  • Track all product related problems as soon as they happen
  • Realize that everything cannot be changed overnight

Lean Manufacturing is a methodology that has grown out of years of removing any function from the manufacturing process that does not add value. Companies cannot just turn on a switch and start utilizing it. ABW provides the flexibility to transition into using Lean Manufacturing.

Material Tracking

  • Picklist Posting for all Components used on a Work Order
  • Material Requisition of specific Components on a Work Order
  • Backflush Components based on Production Posting
  • Mass Pick to facilitate picking similar Components on Multiple Work Orders
  • Returns to Stores Inventory
  • Track specific Lot/Serial Numbers into Work Orders
  • Multi-Level Backflushing when using Pay Points
  • Complete detailed interface to General Ledger with complete auditing capabilities
  • Shorage Reporting
  • Ability to add Components to Work Order
  • Tracking of Deviations
  • Variance Reporting

Material Tracking can take the form of a simple Picklist, individual Material Requisitions, Backflushing or Mass Pick. Lot/Serial Number traceability is recorded.

Material/Capacity Requirements Planning

  • Unlimited Planning (ýWhat Ifý) Models
  • Material Requirements Planning for Selected Warehouses
  • Safety Stock, Order Rules, Firm Planned Orders, and Forecasts used
  • MRP Inquiry, Time Series Report, Detail and Exception Reports
  • MRP ýWhat Ifý Optimization
  • Automatic Creation of Purchase Orders and Work Orders
  • Supports Repetitive Items
  • Reschedule Due Date and Child Due Dates
  • Capacity Requirements Planning by Department or Workstation
  • Released Work Orders, MRP Computer Planned Orders, or Firm Planned Orders
  • Parameters set by Department and Workstation
  • CRP Inquiry, Time Series Report, and Bucketless Report
  • User defined System Calendar

Production Planning can be used to fine tune performance or simply as a suggestion for improvements in Purchasing, Lead Times, and Inventory Levels.

Outside Processing

  • Bill of Outside Processing can be defined for Items as required
  • Identify the ideal Vendor to perform the process
  • Input the Standard Cost for the Outside Processing function
  • Multiple Outside Processing steps can be defined for an Item
  • The Costing system automatically rolls this cost up to parent items
  • Setup PO with Outside Processing Type to track material
  • Post the Receiver when Material comes back from Vendor
  • Receiver can be set to update WIP and Work Order
  • Voucher of A/P Invoice can update WIP and Work Order
  • Complete flow through to General Ledger
  • Invoice tracked back to Work Order
  • Outside Variance (if any) automatically calculated

For processes such as Plating and Galvanzing, which require considerable capital to bring in-house, it is essential to track Outside Processing costs and material flow.


  • Earnings, Taxes, Deductions, Contributions defined by you
  • Departments and General Ledger interface defined by you
  • Advance Codes and Time Import Control defined by you
  • Supports Hourly and Salaried Pay
  • Tracks Vacation Accrued and Paid, by Employee
  • Payroll Initialization
  • Time Import or Payroll Entry
  • Gross To Net
  • Check Processing or Direct Deposits
  • Child Support A/P Interface
  • Quarter End Reports
  • Year End Reports and Processing

Very flexible setup controlled by you. Supports 401K programs and ACH File Creation. Processes multiple Pay Classes and Groups.

Percent of Completion

  • Create the Sales Order and set it up for Progress Billing
  • Open the Work Order when ready to manufacture
  • Cross reference Work Order to Sales Order and Line Number
  • Define the Percent Of Completion Header linking SO and WO
  • You may use Estimated Cost or Standard Cost as basis for calculation
  • Post Labor and Move Quantity on the Work Order
  • Calculate Percent of Completion based on Estimated Hours and Move Quantity
  • System will calculate accrued revenue and COGS to date
  • System will create a Progress Billing for the amount since last billing
  • Complete the production on the Work Order
  • Ship the Sales Order
  • Invoice the Sales Order and previous accruals will be reversed

For companies that utilize Progress Billing based on work done to date, Percent of Completion is crucial to handle accrual of COGS and Recognition of Revenue.

Point of Sale

  • Provides a quick, simple entry of sales transactions
  • Can be used for repeat customers or one time purchases
  • Supports immediate pickup or scheduled delivery
  • Sales Tax calculation and reporting to Taxing Authorities
  • Ability to pull inventory from multiple locations
  • Supports multiple pricing methods
  • Produces immediate Sales Ticket with pricing or Picklist with no pricing
  • Allows input of Freight Charges
  • Tracks payment by Cash, Check, Credit Card or Payment Terms
  • Lets you use your existing Credit Card swipe system and simply input Authorization Code
  • Runs on a desktop computer or your notebook computer
  • Your Salespeople can input sales quickly at their desk or in the field

Our Point of Sale system provides flexibility in handling your Counter Sales or Remote Sales opportunities.

Process Production

  • By Batch or Work Order
  • Allows you to define Process Departments
  • ‘Bill of Material’ is defined by Process Department
  • Allows for multiple Inputs (Issues) and Outputs (Production)
  • Each Workstation is associated with a current Batch
  • Duration of Batch is up to you
  • Complete tracking of Material Issued by Batch
  • Consolidated reporting of Product by Batch
  • Outputs flow into Inventory
  • All Interfaces to General Ledger are honored
  • Variance by Batch
  • Outputs can be used by Discrete areas of the Shop

Process Production is reported by Batch or Work Order but produces multiple end items. It may involve multiple production areas with specialized data to be collected.

Product Costing

  • Multiple Cost Models
  • Material Cost
  • Labor Cost
  • Fixed and Variable Burden Cost
  • Outside Processing Cost
  • Freight and Miscellaneous Costs
  • Low Level Code automatically calculated
  • Maintains Current, Old and New versions of Costs
  • Ability to calculate New Cost without affecting daily functions
  • Basis for Inventory Valuation in detail
  • Supports Inventory & WIP valuation and comparison to General Ledger
  • Used in detail Cost of Good Sold Posting
  • Standard, Average and Actual Costing

Provides the ability to calculate Product Costs based on the Bill of Material/ Routing of each product. This standard can be used to calculate variances in manufacturing.

Project Tracking

  • Project Entry
  • Project Group Numbers to accumulate costs by category
  • Associate multiple Work Orders with a Project
  • Project Summary gives an overall snapshot of status
  • Project Shipping Requests
  • Detail Tracking of all Work Order transactions by Project and Group Number
  • Associate multiple Sales Orders with a Project
  • Report of Sales Orders for a Project
  • Backlog Detail or Summary Report by Project
  • Invoices by Date by Project
  • Unpaid Invoices by Project
  • Sales Orders & Work Orders by Project

Project Tracking associates Sales Orders and Work Orders with an overall Project. Group Numbers allow you to summarize Work Order costs by estimating categories.


The ABW Purchasing module allows buyers to issue purchase orders and post material receipts. Purchasing integrates with Inventory Control to update on-order quantities as purchase orders are issued and on-hand quantities as receipts are posted. Automatic creation of purchase orders from material shortages in Job Processing is a time saving feature.

Some Purchasing Features

  • Automatic calculation of sales taxes on purchase orders
  • Purchases of non-inventory items
  • Virtually unlimited number of PO line items
  • Permits faxing of purchase orders
  • Allows partial receipt of a purchase order

Purchasing & Receiving

  • Purchase Order Entry
  • Purchase Order can be created from Requisition
  • Line Items can be in Vendor UOM and use Vendor Item Code
  • Expense Items can be assigned the proper G/L Expense Account
  • Capital Expenditures can be identified by Capx Number by Line
  • Materials can Purchased directly to a Work Order
  • Outside Processing Purchase Orders
  • Email Vendor Schedule
  • Vendor Purchase History is available
  • Reverse Receiver capability
  • Backorder Replenishment Reports
  • Open Purchase Order Reports
  • Rejection Reports

Purchase Order creation and Receiver Posting are key control points for inbound Inventory. This stages the data for verification at Accounts Payable Vouchering.

Quality Control

  • Track Quality Assurance events
  • Categorize events as Incidents or Opportunities
  • Track actions to ensure process has been improved
  • Define Quality Control Tests
  • Associate Test with a given Item
  • Track Quality Control Inspections
  • Inspection can apply to Purchase Order or Work Order
  • Corrective Action Request Tracking
  • If appropriate, assign Lot Designation
  • Assign Defect Description
  • Handle Disposition of tested item
  • Final Sample Inspection

Quality Control can be considered as two major functions: Quality Assurance to take steps to prevent problems, and Quality Control to test the quality of production.


  • Quote Entry
  • Interface to Configurator
  • Specifications and Comments
  • Request For Quote from Vendor
  • Email Quote Upon Completion
  • Smart Notes
  • Multiple Pricing Methods
  • Print Quotes
  • Quote Search
  • Complete Audit of Changes to Quotes
  • Multiple Quotes into single Sales Order
  • RMA Number Assignment

Once a Quote is approved by your Customer, you may use the Book It! button to automatically generate Sales Orders and Work Orders as required.

Repetitive Production

  • Production by Mold
  • Multiple Item Codes produced by one Mold
  • Report by Workstation
  • Report Pig Total
  • Multiple People per Workstation
  • Report By Mold Number
  • Report Molds Produced and Poured
  • Report Scrap
  • Track Downtime by Workstation
  • Individual Ladle Weights entered
  • Produced Items Moved to Inventory
  • Reporting of Casting Needs, Finishing, Grinding and Scrap

Repetitive Production is driven by Molds and multiple items output. Rather than being reported by Work Order, it is reported by Workstation and Shots.


  • Define those with Approval authority and Approval Limit
  • Identify next level up in Approval Process
  • Requisition Entry
  • Preferred Vendor may be included
  • May be for Inventory items or Expense items
  • Request For Quote from any Vendor
  • Print Requisitions if necessary for review
  • Requisition Approved or Cancelled
  • Requisition Inquiry
  • Open Requisition Report
  • Requisition Approval Report
  • Purchase Order Entry can pull in Approved Requisitions

Requisitions can be made available to users that do not have Purchasing authority to electronically submit and track requests for Inventory and Expense items.

Sales Order Processing

The Sales Order Processing module handles entry of orders and invoice preparation when orders are shipped. Sales orders update inventory committed quantities. When shipments are posted, inventory on-hand quantities are relieved. Invoices are posted to customer files and general ledger. Sales commissions are calculated and posted to the sales representative. Sales taxes are calculated and tracked for the different taxing authorities.

Some Sales Order Features

  • Orders tracked by customer PO Number
  • Sales tracked by item and vendor
  • Backorders (partial shipments)
  • Automatic sales tax calculation
  • Supports split commissions


  • Order Pick Lists
  • Pick List Processing
  • Summarized Pick Lists
  • Exploded Pick Lists for Kits
  • Post Shipments
  • Print Shippers
  • Print Shipping Labels
  • Bill Of Lading Processing
  • Pro-Forma Invoices
  • Export Declarations
  • NAFTA Certificate of Origin
  • FCC Form 740
  • Reverse Shipments

After Purchase Items are received and Manufactured Items are produced, shipping documents are produced and the merchandise is shipped to the customer.

Work Orders

  • Work Orders can be created by BookIt!, MRP, or manually as required
  • One-Time, Continuous, Repetitive, and Rework Types
  • Direct and Indirect Labor Supported
  • Can be standalone or tied to a Sales Order Line and/or Project
  • Work Order specific Bill or Material/Route/Outside Process created
  • Well defined interface to General Ledger
  • Supports use of Phantoms to create Sub Jobs
  • Picklists
  • Travelers
  • Order Management Reports
  • Shortage Reporting
  • Work Order Accounting Screen with Drill-down to Detail Transactions

The Work Order is the fundamental tool controlling information related to the Manufacturing. Look at the flexibility that has resulted from customer feedback.

Product Overview

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User Reviews of ABW…A Better Way

Submitted on June 6th, 2023 by Marvin Poynor

We were recommended ABW by Software Connect and felt that it was a really great system. It was one of the most affordable ERPs we took a look at.

The reason we did not go with ABW was that did not offer pretty dashboards. ABW was menu driven and you have to run a report to get the reports you need.

While this was not a problem for most of our team, we wanted to make sure everyone felt comfortable with the system and we had to go another way.

The Good…

Very affordable and strong ERP

The Bad…

Menu driven. No “pretty dashboards”