Operational communication and coordination between companies are most important in economic value networks. However, there are huge shortages concerning the integration of heterogeneous cross-company systems. Relevant supply chain management (SCM) issues, such as fast and flexible reaction of all companies concerned to the value creation process of a certain product, are not sufficiently facilitated. Thus, the ontological modeling could improve significantly the cross-company coordination proficiency through a semantic harmonization that enables faster and faultless information flows. However, ontologies are not yet applied broadly in SCM. Thus, we first describe the state of the art regarding ontology-use in SCM and characterize actual business needs. Then, we propose a layer-based ontology framework for SCM, including basic modeling principles for each relevant layer. Further, possible obstacles that might inhibit a smooth integration of related information services are discussed. Finally, we draw conclusions regarding the consequences for information and business services and related architectural design.