RALPHS REORGANIZES ROLES FOR WAREHOUSING, TRANSPORTATION

COMPTON, Calif. -- Ralphs Grocery here is in the process of restructuring its distribution operations by establishing two distinct organizational divisions -- warehousing and transportation -- in order to improve store deliveries.The restructuring began last month when Ralphs split its traditional distribution organization and appointed two vice presidents to head the two new divisions. Jim Behrens

COMPTON, Calif. -- Ralphs Grocery here is in the process of restructuring its distribution operations by establishing two distinct organizational divisions -- warehousing and transportation -- in order to improve store deliveries.

The restructuring began last month when Ralphs split its traditional distribution organization and appointed two vice presidents to head the two new divisions. Jim Behrens was appointed vice president of warehousing and Jim O'Day was appointed vice president of transportation.

In the past, one vice president was in charge of both warehousing and transportation and, according to Terry O'Neil, manager of corporate communications for Ralphs, "he was being spread too thin. Now two vice presidents can devote their separate energies to each" to improve shipping and inventory operations.

O'Neil said he believes the restructuring will increase Ralphs' service levels to retail stores. "We already have good numbers, over a 90% rate for on-time deliveries, but we want to make that number even better," he told SN.

Behrens oversees all warehouse operations at Ralphs' three depots, in Compton, Glendale and Riverside, Calif. Behrens was the company's director of grocery distribution.

O'Day is responsible for all transportation operations and fleet services at the chain's three service centers in his new position. O'Day was director of perishables.

Both executives report to Rod Van Bebber, Ralphs' group vice president of distribution.