The control panel in intralogistics represents a central point of a warehouse management system and supports the employees responsible in the entire warehouse operation control process. In addition to the consolidation of information (key figures), the control panel is used for processing and evaluating intralogistic processes. By means of the graphic preparation of logistical-technical processes, internal disturbances and unforeseen events can be reacted to in a precise manner in order not to endanger the smooth flow of materials within the warehouse. Since all information from all sub-areas of the warehouse usually flows together in the control center, its technical scope has a considerable impact on the efficiency with which logistics processes are handled within a company.

Primary functions of the control center

  • Visualization
  • Planning
  • Optimization
  • Comparison of target and actual
  • Identification of performance limits
  • Controlling
  • Display of the system status
  • Display of system feedback

The following questions can be answered with the help of a control center:

  • How large is the order quantity in picking?
  • In relation to the shortage of stock – how many rush orders are there?
  • Which goods transports per area are currently active?
  • How high is the personnel capacity of the packing department?
  • What is the personnel capacity for order picking?
  • Goods receipt – which payment advice notes are open?
  • How high is the pick rate of the pickers?
  • Wie hoch ist das gesamte Tag-spezifische Auftragsvolumen?
  • What is the current progress of order processing?
  • Which technical disturbances in the conveying system are known?
  • Which software-related faults are known?

A logistics control center is an instrument of operational control that is used in intralogistics systems. It supports and optimises the planning and control of logistical processes (operational procedures). A logistics control center continuously visualizes and monitors the logistics processes, identifies target-performance deviations and gives users process-related recommendations for action.

VDI guideline 4493 ‘Leitstand für die Intralogistik’.

Control center in practice

  • Information and control relevance: The prepared information must contribute to the improvement of the control of the customer project and company.
  • Real-time: The information must be provided quickly / on time.
  • Visualization: The information must be prepared for the employees according to their needs and presented in an uncomplicated way.

The control center is designed according to the so-called control loop principle; it continuously interacts with the executing process participants in intralogistics (people, technical resources, goods). This means that the respective sales order is planned according to the target specifications and the respective process progress is compared with these specifications at regular intervals (target/actual comparison). This not only enables logisticians to trace the flow of goods (e.g. incoming goods, picking, finishing(packing), outgoing goods) in detail and visually, but also enables employees to adjust individual and process-specific as well as cross-process details in real-time depending on the customer order. Here, the possible process risks are specifically analysed; these, in turn, can be compared with the target / actual values. Through real-time analysis and the actions based on it, the control center ensures measurable improvements in throughput times and leads to increased planning reliability.

Important: Based on the current information from the sub-areas of the warehouse, the employee responsible can intervene if necessary and accordingly expand or change resources or initiate other organizational measures. As a rule, however, the measures cannot be controlled directly via the control center. It is usually only used for evaluation and preparation as well as graphic representation. Another special feature of the control center is that the control center employee is able to correlate the recommendations of the control center with his personal experience. In the end, it is the employee who decides which measures are initiated, not the control center.

The control center on the smartphone and tablet

Nowadays, the processed information from the stationary control station is also available on mobile devices (smartphone, tablet). In addition to the form of presentation geared to the smaller displays, the data transfer of the sensitive and internal data records is subject to technical conditions:

  • Data sovereignty – for data protection reasons (German Federal Data Protection Act) the data must remain stored with the customer and not with cloud providers such as Google or Microsoft.
  • Access to data must be securely encrypted (e.g. HTTPS).
  • User administration – the user gets individual access to the key figures which have been cleared for him or her.


A logistics control center is the management and control instrument of modern logistics management. The graphically processed information, be it system states or process progress, is the basis for making process-oriented decisions that meet all customer and company requirements. However, the human being decides which measures are taken; the control center only provides helpful and compiled process information.

For more information, please refer to the articles Inventory Management and Storage Bin Management.

Teaser image: KNV Logistik

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