A vertical conflict describes any action by a member of a distribution channel that changes the supply chain or hinders another member in the channel. Some examples of vertical conflicts include a manufacturer starting to advertise and sell its product straight to consumers or if a retailer stops carrying a manufacturer's product.
Within a supply chain, there are usually more than one entities involved. There are three main types of conflicts: vertical, horizontal and multilevel. A horizontal conflict involves conflict between competitors at the same rung of the supply chain. A multilevel conflict typically involves two or more entities at two or more levels, like a manufacturer starting to supply new competitors.