Many manufacturing organizations while doing business either directly or indirectly with other industrial sectors often encounter interoperability problems among software systems. This increases the business cost and reduces the efficiency. Research communities are exploring ways to reduce this cost. Incompatibility amongst the syntaxes and the semantics of the languages of application systems is the most common cause to this problem. The process specification language (PSL), an ISO standard (18629), has the potential to overcome some of these difficulties by acting as a neutral communication language. The current paper has therefore focused on exploring this aspect of the PSL within a cross-disciplinary supply chain environment.
The paper explores a specific cross-disciplinary supply chain scenario in order to understand the mechanisms of communications within the system. Interoperability of processes supporting those communications are analysed against PSL. A strategy is proposed for sharing process information amongst the supply chain nodes using the ‘PSL 20 questions wizard and it is concluded that, although there is a need to develop more effective methods for mapping systems to PSL, it can still be seen as a powerful tool to aid the communications between processes in the supply chain. The paper uses a supply chain scenario that cuts across the construction and manufacturing business sectors in order to provide a breadth to the types of disciplines involved in communication.