A systematic approach for supply chain conflict detection with a hierarchical Petri Net extension

Jennifer Blackhurst, Teresa Wu, Christopher W. Craighead

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


Coordinating and managing distributed entities in a supply chain is a challenging task due, in part, to conflicts present in such systems. If not handled effectively, the conflict can degrade the performance of the system as a whole due to the fact that each individual entity may be working towards goals that sub-optimize the integrated system. Therefore, the ability to discover conflicts would be a valuable asset, particularly if the discovery occurred proactively. This paper presents a methodology, extending the concept of basic Petri Nets, to discover supply chain conflict before they occur and cause detrimental effects to system performance. The approach involves linking hierarchical levels of the supply chain system and detecting conflicts occurring when the single entities, each optimized for it own operations, are combined together in a supply chain. These conflicts are not obvious or intuitive in examining the single entities of the supply chain, but when integrated the conflicts are discovered by the methodology. We applied the proposed methodology on a real-world supply chain to illustrate the validity of the tool. Although, further research is needed to fully explore this method of conflict detection, we believe that this research does indeed provide some much needed insight into the daunting task of conflict discovery and therefore proactive handling of these potentially negative occurrences in the supply chain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)680-696
Number of pages17
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2008


  • Case application
  • Hierarchical Petri Net model
  • Supply chain conflicts
  • Supply chain management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Information Systems and Management


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