What do manual errors, data entry, heavy workloads, and wearisome process have in common? All these problems and complaints can be automated with RPA! If you haven’t already heard about it, RPA or Robotic Process Automation is a software bot that is programmed to emulate human actions and perform them at a much faster rate. It provides for more accurate, predictable, and consistent results for better decision making and is scalable for businesses eyeing to save millions of dollars over a while. Despite these advantages, many enterprises find it difficult to measure the ROI of RPA since many cannot justify the deployment costs, which is beyond traditional time and cost savings.
Here are our five effective ways to measure the return on investment (ROI) of RPA implementation in a process:
ROI of RPA # 1. Define your goals and expected benefits
You can’t manage what you can’t measure is a phrase that holds true for calculating the return of your RPA deployment. Be as specific and realistic as you can when defining your goals for setting the right benchmark. While setting these expectations, don’t just focus on quantitative or financial benefits. Rather, pay attention to qualitative things like process quality, compliance, employee job satisfaction, etc. When your goals include a mix of both tangible and intangible benefits, you are likely to give an accurate evaluation of the impact of RPA deployment in a process.
ROI of RPA # 2. Compare and measure the speed of a process
One of the most commonly claimed benefits of RPA is the speed at which the robot performs laborious work. That is why it is important to compare and measure the speed of the input and output in the back-office processes. Ascertain how much time the overall process usually takes and benchmark it with the time taken by the bot to do the same task. This will also help you improve service level agreements as RPA deployment will reduce the overall processing time.
ROI of RPA #3. Measure resource’s productivity
Software robots are known to improve an employee’s efficiency by shaving off the time spent on completing manual tasks. Whether it is gathering data from multiple sources or basic tasks like entering information into spreadsheets, humans interact with technology daily to complete tedious tasks. By looking at your employees’ time sheets, you can ascertain how much time is spent on these manual processes. Benchmark this time after deploying RPA to see the impact of bots on the productivity of employees. Bots are known to bring scalability and perform such tasks with 100% accuracy while drastically cutting downtime taken to complete rote actions.
ROI of RPA #4. Measure output quality/accuracy
RPA bots are programmed to emulate the tasks manually done by humans. They do not deviate from the process created, thereby providing 100% accurate outputs. However, there is one condition that can prove the contrary, and that is when there is an error in the rules, governance, and decisions provided by the developer. If this is avoided, then there will be no scope for manual errors. Measure the accuracy to prove ROI of RPA in terms of rework or the cost of dissatisfaction.
ROI of RPA #5. Measure compliance
To measure the ROI of RPA, companies also measure compliance, which should be 100% after the deployment of the software robot. Measure if the bots are ensuring compliance with rules, laws, or regulations governing the selected process. RPA can resolve compliance issues and notify employees about any red flags so that informed decisions can be made. There is a growing use of RPA in industries such as healthcare, insurance, and banking since they are highly regulated, handle large volumes of data, and require several points of validation.
Measuring the return of your RPA projects is not a straightforward process and requires multiple layers of analysis. Companies, on average, start expecting return after six to 12 weeks of implementation, which is followed by a two-to-three month period where RPA bots are tweaked, rules are verified to further increase process efficiency. While there might be quantitative benefits such as reduced cost implementation and financial savings, you should also scrutinize various qualitative ones such as employee satisfaction, etc to completely understand the total benefit of your RPA investment.
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