Convincing stakeholders about the value of process automation can be a challenge. Here’s some ways that can help you measure the ROI to present a better pitch.
Robotics Process Automation or RPA can become a great competitive advantage for businesses of all sizes, helping increase innovation, productivity and delivery an enhanced customer experience. While, helping the business become more efficient, RPA also reduces the burden on employees, helping streamline processes across the organization. However, convincing the stakeholders about the wisdom of investing in RPA solutions can be quite challenging, especially if they are not as tech-savvy. Just listing out the benefits is never enough. But then, what better way to put in a pitch that presents the ROI the stakeholders can gain by investing in RPA solutions for the business?
Why are RPA metrics important?
- To make a convincing case for investing in RPA
- Present a quantitative demonstration of the operational and financial impact of RPA
- Go beyond listing expected benefits, and present some real, achievable numbers
To make a convincing case for an investment in RPA, one needs numbers that would demonstrate the operational and also the financial impact it will have on the business, in a quantitative manner. This would be valuable proof of how RPA would be instrumental in enhancing productivity, innovation, customer experience, controlling costs, etc. not just as a list of expected benefits, but as real achievable numbers. In the absence of these numbers, it is highly likely that stakeholders would be turned away by seeing the high costs involved in implementation of RPA.
What are the costs involved for implementing RPA in an organization?
- Developing the systems
- Testing the systems
- Upgrading the IT infrastructure
- Training the users
- Managing the programs and projects
- Creating and managing the processes
Thus, it is quite evident that having proper ROI numbers could make the case of implementing ROI really convincing for the stakeholders.
Can the process of tracking the ROI be done in phases?
Yes, dividing the process of using the ROI as a benchmark would best be broken down in three phases:
- Initial phase
- Interim phase
- Ongoing phase
This phase takes place before the implementation of RPA, where the project managers would be using the data received from the process for building a compelling case for RPA.
This phase takes place once the implementation of RPA begins, when the organization begins collecting, analyzing and understanding the data, thereby trying to validate the assumptions made prior to implementation of RPA, and also figuring out the areas where the organization can improve to get better results.
Like any other technology, RPA is also an ever-evolving technology. To keep up with the changes, process would also need to evolve and upgrade, to continue making the most of the technology. This becomes the ongoing phase of measuring the ROI. Here, the organization keeps evaluating ongoing processes, while staying abreast of the changes in the technology, thereby looking for ways the processes can be improved or newer areas where the technology can be deployed to make the most out of RPA.
What are the KPIs for measuring ROI of RPA?
- Bot utilization
- Programming perfection
- Time estimations
There could be many different KPIs that an organization can choose to measure the ROI of an RPA project. However, the six listed above are highly recommended since they would most likely work to make an effective case for any organization. However, the situation may be different from business to business, industry to industry, so each organization is free to choose their own respective metrics to track the ROI that would suit their business the best.
For any new idea to succeed, it is important that it be implemented in a right way, in an area where it is actually needed and can succeed in a feasible, sustainable and scalable manner. For RPA to be successfully deployed at any organization, it would be important that they pick the right project for deploying it in. An ideal project would be one that has processes that are repetitive or prone to human errors. Such projects would ensure that the implementation is successful, and would also help the organization make the most of RPA.
Not every project could be sorted with just one bot, and not every project would need a thousand bots to be deployed. The key is to understand what the bots would be doing in the selected project, and estimating the right number of bots that would needed to get the work done in an effective and efficient way. Optimal utilization of bots is the key for a successful project.
One very important thing organizations would need to understand before deploying RPA, is that bots can essentially only do what they have been ‘asked’ do, i.e., what they have been programmed to do – nothing more, nothing less. Any errors or bugs in the program will cause the bot to malfunction and not deliver the desired results. To avoid this, the programming of the bots needs to be perfectly done so that the bots can be efficient and quick with the tasks they have been ‘taught’ to do.
One of the biggest benefits of using RPA is the time-savings. Bots can do mundane, repetitive jobs in much shorter spans of time, without errors or the need to take breaks. However, to ensure a successful run here, it is important that the process times and speeds from the time of input being entered to the time the output is delivered be measured and estimated accurately. Only then would an organization would be able to get a proper idea of the overall improvement in the process velocity.
Organizations around the world have to keep up with different compliances – some imposed as mandatory compliances by the government or regulatory bodies that govern the industry, some to keep up the organization’s own standards or accreditations, some to keep up their competitive advantage in the market. If there’s one thing that RPA can do effectively is help organizations be compliant with the standards laid down for the processes it is being implemented into. And this could be a valuable metric to be measured to gauge the ROI for RPA.
When the outputs received from a process are faster and increasingly error-free, it definitely indicates the improved accuracy of the process. And this is exactly what RPA can help achieve. Bots can perform the mundane, repetitive tasks without errors, at a much faster pace, without needing any breaks. This reduces manual workloads and dependencies to a great extent. This, in turn, leads to improved productivity and improved accuracy of operations.
Using these metrics, organizations can evaluate the efficacy of their RPA initiatives and analyze the data gathered to understand how they can improve the processes, as well as discover newer areas where RPA can be implemented to get better returns of their investments. In order to make the implementation smoother, and be able to realize the true potential of RPA, an organization would need trained professionals who are skilled in working with RPA. For this, the organization would need to hire new professionals or upskill their existing workforce to be able to accomplish the required tasks.
Cognixia – world’s leading digital workforce solutions company offers path-breaking training solutions for organizations in the field of Robotics Process Automation, machine learning and artificial intelligence. Our training programs can be customized to meet individual requirements of every organization and are delivered across multiple modalities – public and private schedules, online as well as on-site. We constantly upgrade out curriculums to make sure all the latest developments get incorporated and delivered during the training sessions, while also weaving in ample hands-on projects and assignments to help participants get a thorough understanding of the concepts learnt during the training sessions. Reach out to us to know more about our RPA training programs.