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Decision Point: Upgrading Your WMS vs. Investing in a New System

As technology evolves, businesses face crucial decisions about their Warehouse Management Systems (WMS). For those grappling with the impending end-of-life of their current WMS, the choice between upgrading to a new version or investing in a completely new system is a pivotal one. In this blog post, we’ll explore key considerations and industry insights to guide you through this decision-making process.

The Case Against Legacy Systems:

Legacy systems are typically older technology, which with time can become obsolete. Legacy WMS systems, often burdened with heavy customizations, also pose challenges in maintenance and upgrades. Over time, these systems become less flexible and more resource-intensive. Plus it is harder to find resources who can support these older technologies, as programmers are interested in modern technology. 

Upgrading such systems can evolve into an extensive project, requiring a substantial investment. This shift in dynamics is a compelling reason to explore alternative options, considering the advancements made in warehouse management systems over the last decade. 

Cloud-Based Solutions on the Rise:

The shift from on-premise to cloud-based WMS solutions is a noteworthy trend. According to Gartner research, migrating to the cloud can result in significant savings, including a 31% reduction in capital and cash expenditures, 26% savings from perpetual cloud subscription costs, 15% staff reduction, and 31% elasticity savings. Modern Materials Handling’s 2022 survey indicates a rising adoption of cloud-based WMS, with 68% of respondents either using or planning to use such solutions, a notable increase from 60% in 2021.

Factors to Consider:

1. Cost Analysis:

-Evaluate the cost of upgrading your current WMS against the investment required for a new system.

-Consider the total cost of ownership, including hardware, software, IT resources, compliance, redundancy, maintenance and support expenses for both options.

2. Features and Functionality:

-Ensure the new WMS aligns with your business needs and provides the necessary features and functionality.

-Assess the potential benefits of a new system in enhancing operational efficiency and addressing current challenges.

3. Migration Process:

-Examine the ease of migrating data from the old WMS to the new system.

-Confirm the availability of migration tools to streamline the transition process.

Additional Considerations:

1. Security:

-Compare the security measures of the new WMS with the older upgraded version to safeguard your data and operations. Privacy and system uptime are consideration points that are sometimes hard to quantify, but are extremely important. 

2. Technology and Scalability:

-Evaluate the technological advancements and scalability features offered by the new WMS in comparison to your current system.


Choosing between upgrading your existing WMS and investing in a new system is a critical business decision. By weighing factors such as cost, functionality, migration ease, security, and scalability, businesses can make an informed choice that aligns with their current needs and future growth plans. Embracing technological advancements, especially the transition to cloud-based solutions, may prove to be a strategic move in enhancing overall warehouse management efficiency. Need advice? We can help