A Wholesale Food Distributor Moves toward Real-Time Data with IT Managed Services

Thanks to itelligence and SAP HANA our company can keep up with our fast pace of growth to support our current customers and our aggressive acquisition strategy.

Joe Haber, CIO, Cheney Brothers, Inc.

Cheney Brothers, Inc. (CBI) is a growing company based in Riviera Beach, Florida. Now in its fourth generation as a family owned and operated business, CBI continues to grow organically through both new product introductions and to a lesser extent strategic acquisitions.

Since 2000, CBI has achieved many momentous milestones, including opening a new janitorial division, expanding locations and distribution centers and reaching the $1 billion sales mark. Once a milk and egg distributor, CBI is now one of the largest food service distributors in the southern United States.

Challenges and Benefits


  • Short window for system downtime
  • Lengthy report delays and memory locking issues
  • Unexpected outages from aging legacy systems


  • Faster insights and decision making from near real-time data
  • Cost savings from simplified data structure and reduced size
  • Reduced stress with modernized disaster recovery system

Solutions Used:

  • SAP Business Suite on HANA
  • SAP Enhancement Pack 7
  • Vistex Service Pack 2


Working together closely, itelligence IT Managed Services and Cheney Brothers, Inc. (CBI) successfully migrated to SAP HANA within CBI’s tight downtime window. CBI, a 4th generation family-owned and operated wholesale food distributor, is now empowered with faster insights. This near real-time data provides enhanced decision making thanks to the SAP HANA implementation by itelligence IT managed services.


CBI had a long history of growing and modernizing its processes, facilities, and business strategies in order to deliver superior service. However, CBI’s fast growth through organic expansion and strategic acquisitions created challenges for their legacy AS/400 and DB2 systems.  As a result, their challenges focused around timely completion of business processes and unplanned downtime of multiple hours per month. In fact, running reports via batch jobs required between six and seven hours of elapsed time. Reports experienced memory locking or ‘order clogging’ on a regular basis.

Modernizing to Match Growth

After moving to SAP ECC 6.0 in 2013 and later a comprehensive SAP ERP platform, CBI understood the valuecheney-brothers-inc-SAP-Transportation-Logistics-it-Managed-Services of its SAP investment. Also, they knew the value of a seasoned partner to guide them through further modernization. However, with CBI’s explosive growth, they had no time to spare to make incremental upgrades.

As a result, they decided to move to HANA and set a strict 16-hour downtime window for migration. After reviewing options with several SAP SI’s, CBI decided to continue its trusted relationship with itelligence IT Managed Services. They chose intelligence for our deep knowledge of wholesale food distribution financial and business processes.

Rolling On to SAP HANA

Working together closely, the team successfully migrated the existing database. Starting from SAP ECC enhancement pack five (EP5) on the legacy DB2, they moved to SAP HANA within CBI’s tight downtime window.

Lengthy report times were ultimately reduced from six to seven hours down to a mere two minute run time. As a result, CBI enjoys near real time visibility into its operations. CBI’s 2.4TB database was compressed down to 700mb. CBI benefits from additional memory and plenty of room to match their growth. Most of all, the dated disaster recovery system was upgraded to a modern system connected to HANA. All of which is maintained entirely online via a heartbeat connection, ensuring CBI can weather any storm.

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