Kicking off a user experience transformation: Fresenius Digital Technology simplifies self-service procurement, delivering an intuitive UX for everyone

Motivated by feedback from a diverse group of users interacting with procurement processes, a team of UX Champions from Fresenius Digital Technology revamped their procurement flow to deliver a more modern and intuitive experience. This UX improvement initiative, dubbed UX1 by the team that led it, was a success and kicked off a wider user experience transformation after being proven in a head-to-head race in an IT townhall, where the more intuitive screens were shown to be 62% faster.

UX1 was led by Idris Murat Özaltun and Jan Joswig who — in collaboration with developer Matthias Schwarz and business unit expert — worked with key users representing end-users from Germany, Brazil, South Africa, Australia, China, among other 60 countries to deliver a new experience that was described by end-users as “Intuitive”, “Modern”, “Reliable”, and “Clear”. This blog will cover the team’s motivations, the challenges faced by end-users, results, and next steps in order to inspire future UX Champions who may be looking at a user experience transformation of their own.

Background

Fresenius is a global healthcare company based in Bad Homburg vor der Höhe, Germany. The company specializes in dialysis products and services, but also has divisions for hospital management and medical device engineering. This wide range of products and services means that a diverse set of users interact with the company’s SAP systems. These systems are managed by Fresenius Digital Technology, a sister IT company.

Procurement Problems

With a wide range of employees touching the company’s procurement processes – from board members, to engineers, to nurses – the IT team at Fresenius Digital Technology found itself inundated with questions and incidents. The end-users, with their diverse backgrounds and differing levels of experience with SAP, were struggling with various tasks due to the different user interfaces and interaction patterns of processes split across SAP GUI, Web Dynpro, UI5 apps, SAP Fiori launchpad, and more.

To improve the work experience of this diverse group of end-users, as well as reduce the support load caused by the frequently filed incidents, the Fresenius Digital Technology team needed to make the procurement process smarter for everyone. Their proposal was to deliver simple, intuitive processes with a consistent user experience. This would grow to become UX1. At the heart of this initiative was the mission to consistently deliver the SAP Fiori user experience by seamlessly integrating SAP Fiori applications with classic SAP GUI transactions.

Starting Simple

In order to demonstrate the power of a UX transformation, the Fresenius Digital Technology team began with a pilot project simplifying three everyday tasks split across seven screens: Identifying a shopping cart processor, posting a good receipt, and then changing the instore mail language. For these processes, which were handled in classic SAP GUI transactions, the team used SAP Screen Personas to simplify and personalize the screens. Key users, representing end-users from Germany, Brazil, South Africa, Australia, China, as well as other countries provided feedback on the updated screens. This feedback was used to drive improvements to the look, feel, and flow of the screens.

With an improved user experience ready to go, the updated screens were then put to the ultimate test in an IT townhall. The Fresenius Digital Technology team challenged users to a race: one person was to complete the three everyday tasks mentioned above using the typical SAP GUI transaction while another would set out to try the tasks using the revamped UX1 experience.

In the end, the results were clear: the updated user experience was 62% faster than the classic transaction experience, on average.

Continuing the User Experience Transformation

With the benefits of a simplified user experience made clear and 86% of their pilot users recommending the updated processes, the team of UX Champions at Fresenius Digital Technology is looking forward to their next steps. On the agenda is a rollout campaign for the updated scenario to make procurement more intuitive for everyone, as well as further expansion of UX1 by building overview pages for catalogue items using SAP Fiori elements. After that, the team is trying to get a pulse on the market to determine what is important to its end-users. Offline functionality and digital process automation are contenders but, as with the pilot project, the team is committed to delivering a user experience based around their end-users’ needs.

With a UX transformation case largely driven by user feedback and proven in real-world conditions, the Fresenius Digital Technology team is on their way to provide a more intuitive work experience for its diverse user group. We’re looking forward to seeing what they deliver to end-users next.

To learn more about the SAP Fiori user experience, please visit the community topic page.

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For the SAP UX team, Conrad Bernal