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Procurement Success Starts With Finding The Right Problem to Solve
2 min read

Procurement Success Starts With Finding The Right Problem to Solve

In a recent chat, Sam Yen shared an epic tale of turning crisis into UX gold.

Sam Yen is the Chief Innovation Officer, Commercial Banking at JP Morgan Chase & Co., but has had several interesting experiences working at SAP.

In this week's episode of The Neverending Climb to Stronger Procurement and Supply Chain, he spilled the beans on how a customer's SOS led to SAP Fiori, a game-changing UX design language.

He also shares a few of his lessons about how you can GUARANTEE procurement success. Trust me, you'll want to stick around for this one.

Crisis Sparks Transformation 

Crisis kickstarts change, and this tale is no different. SAP's customer was fuming over UX woes, and their CIO demanded quick fixes. The clock was ticking, and SAP had to step up. 

The Skunkworks Team 

Sam Yen was part of the App House in Palo Alto. They crafted user-friendly apps for SAP's customers' customers. With talent from consumer app and gaming realms, they brought fresh UX knowledge.  

The Birth of Fiori 

SAP's mission: fix the UX headache, and Sam's team had the ball. They created mobile-first apps that laid the foundation for SAP Fiori, even though it lacked that name.

A High-Stakes Presentation 

With time slipping away, Sam's team had to dazzle SAP's big shots. They had to show not just potential but actual implementation on the customer's systems. The pressure was on. 

A Transformative Journey

The team worked tirelessly to bring their vision to life. After overcoming hurdles, they got the apps running on the customer's systems. But the mission wasn't over. The customer wanted it in their employees' hands within three months.

SAP Fiori Takes Flight

The project's success turned heads at SAP and birthed SAP Fiori. Over time, Fiori evolved into a top-notch design language, revamping thousands of screens. Its influence even spread to other SAP products.

Lessons Learned: Turning Emergencies into Opportunities 

Sam Yen's wisdom for making an impact: 

Belief and Motivation: Believe your team can make a dent. Motivation and a shared purpose are 🔑. 

Finding the Right Problem: Solve problems with the most impact.

Empathy: Focus on user needs. Empathy makes solutions that matter.

Simplification: Keep it simple. Make it as easy as your everyday life experiences.

Cross-Pollination: Think beyond your bubble. Ideas from other places ignite innovation.

Continuous Improvement: Keep delivering value and improve every day.

User-Centric Design: Make delightful user experiences that exceed expectations.


Sam Yen's journey shows a small, driven team can turn crises into lasting impact. SAP Fiori's evolution highlights empathy, innovation, and simplification. As you venture into your field, find the right problems, commit to improvement, and prioritize user-centric design. 🚀