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Delivering a global roll-out for Cooper Standard

Mike Latkovic

Cooper Standard, headquartered in Novi, Michigan US, is a leading global supplier of systems and components for the automotive industry. Products include sealing, fuel and brake delivery, and fluid transfer systems. Cooper Standard employs approximately 28,000 people globally and operates in 21 countries around the world.

Our work with Cooper Standard is a true partnership. We began with the company when it needed to move all its facilities to a single instance of SAP. Cooper Standard had made a number of acquisitions and therefore ended up with multiple systems around the world. The goal was to create one global standardized template.

We jointly developed a roadmap so it could accelerate the roll-out to the more than 70 global locations. Last year, we decided it made more sense to move everyone to SAP S/4HANA rather than continue with the remaining locations on SAP ECC.

The key drivers for the migration were

  • Digital access rights – With Industry 4.0 and robotic process automations, the user-based license model has become obsolete and a need for digital access has thus a potential liability exposure for organizations.
  • Business growth​ – Establish a platform to meet current and projected growth objectives, including non-automotive cross industries. ​
  • Modernization​ –  Cloud migration, system performance, data, analytics, and user experience are updated and improved​.
  • Features/capability​ – The latest versions of the applications include the regulatory changes and many updated or new functional capabilities​
  • Simplification/user experience​ – Many of the capabilities and functionality have been included in the base applications allowing some applications to be decommissioned​
  • End of life​ – Maintenance on software and hardware is at or nearing end of life.​

Doing the implementation this way means Cooper Standard can improve processes incrementally rather than engaging in the usual monstrous change-management activities and the issues that come with that approach. It allowed the company to shift to a new technology, get a better baseline of the possibilities, and have a smoother roll-out of SAP S/4HANA across the entire organization.

The roll-out was a significant undertaking. The SAP S/4HANA 1809 conversion project included 74 plants in North and South America, Europe, and Asia Pacific. It needed to support 12 languages, six million business transaction a day, and 6,350 users, migrated from on-premises to the cloud along with the conversion of the software and data.

SAP S/4HANA means Cooper Standard can move to a new SAP data center as part of its cloud-first, mobile-first strategy. It now has a clear roadmap to enable new business functionality and explore new business models.

We expect other automotive suppliers will look at this model for their move to SAP S/4HANA. Cooper Standard benefited from using Capgemini’s close partnership with SAP, our in-depth expertise in Automotive and our global presence.

Change management can be disruptive but tapping into the power of SAP S/4HANA now will help Cooper Standard remain an automotive leader.

Mike Latkovic is passionate about helping clients achieve positive outcomes, capture big opportunities, and solve tough challenges. He is the North American Automotive Supplier Leader and works with clients to evolve and adjust in this very dynamic market. He can be reached at