7 Signs It's Time to Upgrade Your Warehouse Software | FORTNA

When Is It Time for a Warehouse Software Upgrade?

For companies still relying on manual processes, the transition to automated software solutions can be a game-changer. Investing in the right software can revolutionise operations, leading to improved productivity, accuracy and customer satisfaction. Here are 7 signs it’s time to think about upgrading your operations with software solutions.

by Jordan Mitchell

In the fast-paced world of logistics and supply chain management, efficiency is key. For companies still relying on manual processes, the transition to automated software solutions can be a game-changer. Whether it’s Warehouse Execution Systems (WES), Warehouse Management Systems (WMS), or Warehouse Control Systems (WCS), investing in the right software can revolutionise operations, leading to improved productivity, accuracy and customer satisfaction. Studies show the trend toward automation isn’t slowing anytime soon, with the market projected to reach 41 billion USD in 20271.

So, when is it time to make the leap? In this FORTNA blog, we will examine the key signs that indicate you might be ready to explore software-enabled solutions and the relevant implementation strategy.

Sign #1 – Inventory management woes

Are inventory discrepancies causing headaches? Manual tracking methods are prone to errors, leading to misplaced items and stockouts. Downtime related to conducting physical inventory, along with difficulty engaging in knowledge transfer from veteran employees on inventory placement and system-based verifications, can be hard to avoid. A software system can provide real-time visibility into inventory levels, ensuring accurate stock counts, efficient replenishment and reduced carrying costs.

Sign #2 – Order fulfillment challenges

In many cases, order processing times may take longer than desired, causing service level agreement (SLA) contracts to be missed. Manual order picking and packing processes can be time-consuming and error prone. A software solution can help optimise order fulfillment workflows, minimising picking errors and maximising order accuracy. Workflows like batch picking or cluster picking from wave-based or order streaming allocation can significantly streamline operations. Adding automation can further complicate fulfillment efficiency if not addressed as part of a holistic approach. Ensuring operations has a software layer that allocates resources across manual and automated workflows expands the opportunities for operations to achieve desired results.


Sign #3 – Lack of data insights

If you’re making decisions based on guesswork rather than data-driven insights, it might be time to upgrade. Manual processes often lack the ability to generate comprehensive reports and analytics. An integrated software solution can collect and analyse data on KPIs such as order cycle times, labour productivity, and inventory turnover, empowering warehouse operations to make informed decisions and drive continuous improvement. Ensuring that the software solution chosen provides these insights across both the manual and automated workflows is key, so warehouse operations staff have visibility into everything that affects their ability to achieve the desired SLAs.

Sign #4 – Inefficient space utilisation

Warehouse space underutilisation or overcrowding is often a challenge that can be supported with a WES-enabled high-density automated storage and retrieval system (AS/RS). Manual space planning may not optimise storage layouts for maximum efficiency. A slotting solution can provide dynamic slotting algorithms to optimise inventory storage, resulting in minimised travel distances and maximised storage density. Additionally, it can help in effectively managing the spatial impacts of seasonal fluctuations in inventory demand.

Sign #5 – Rising labour costs

Are your labour costs escalating due to inefficient processes? There’s a good chance that labour scarcity and rising costs are also having an impact on your operations. Manual workflows often require a larger workforce to handle repetitive tasks, increasing labour costs. Automation can reduce reliance on manual labour by automating routine tasks such as order picking, replenishment, and palletising, which can lead to labour savings and improved productivity.

Sign #6 – Customer expectations

With the ever-increasing customer acquisition costs, accelerated delivery requirements, and accuracy demands of today’s consumer base, meeting customer expectations is paramount. Manual processes may struggle to keep up with rising customer demands for faster delivery times and order accuracy. Implementing a software solution can enhance order processing speed, accuracy and on-time delivery, improving customer satisfaction and retention. Focusing on automation-appropriate operations and ensuring the software not only supports task execution of those operations but also informs warehouse operations staff about changing demands and how to balance the demand between the manual and automated workflows offers the next step in the operational excellence journey.

Visualization of warehouse software analyzing inventory being picked by AMRs

Sign #7 – Scalability issues

Your business may be experiencing growth but is struggling to scale operations efficiently. Manual processes may become increasingly unsustainable as the business expands. Software-enabled automation solutions assist operations in overcoming challenges with scale related to demand growth, SKU proliferation and facility refinement. The global warehouse automation market was valued at over 23 billion USD in 2023. It is expected that the market will grow at a CAGR of about 15 percent in the following years and reach a size of 41 billion USD in 2027.1 This growth is driven by the need for scalable solutions to support increasing order volumes and complex supply chain operations.


For companies grappling with manual processes, the signs that it’s time to upgrade to a software solution are clear. By investing in the right automation software solution, these companies can unlock new levels of efficiency, productivity and competitiveness in today’s dynamic marketplace. It’s not just an upgrade; it’s a strategic investment in the future success of your business.

About the author

Jordan Mitchell FORTNA Sr. Director, Software Product Management Profile

Jordan Mitchell

Senior Director, Software Product Management

Jordan Mitchell leads the Software Product Management team for FORTNA and has been in the industry for over 12 years, serving in various roles at fulfillment software and robotics focused companies from software implementation and design to pre-sales and product management.