Calculate ROI for RPA Projects in 3 Easy Steps

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ROI for RPA projects

RPA projects at large enterprises can be very expensive. RPA projects in SMBs can be done cost effectively using an MSP and engaging a month-to-month service. Regardless of the business model … we believe strongly at Valenta that RPA projects should pay for themselves. Any RPA or AI project must have a demonstrated ROI and a positive impact on your business, otherwise, what is the point.

Conducting an RPA cost benefit analysis does not have to be a chore. RPA ROI metrics are there to measure in any business. It does help to bring in assistance versed in RPA and AI to know what to look for. At Valenta we calculate ROI for RPA projects for clients often and we have developed an RPA feasibility calculator to help illustrate the ROI exercise and to assist in its execution. We also outsource RPA Consultants for your RPA projects. In our experience calculating the ROI for an RPA project always involves these 3 basic steps: 1) Interviewing, 2) Running a Model, and 3) Evaluating Results.

1. Interview

Gathering information from key stakeholders in an organization is critical. Executives and users must be involved to uncover all the variables that will drive the evaluation model. Having someone experienced with RPA and AI at this step is very beneficial. Skilled consultants will know what questions to ask and where to look for the feasibility of a project. Conversely, they will be able to identify red flags that might indicate an RPA project may not be worth the effort. This step of the process should not be rushed and typically takes the most time, … but it is time well spent. This is where a business will really hash out where in a company are the repetitive rules-based tasks that involve multiple steps and several different software applications. Once all the information has been gathered and collated it can be inputted into an ROI calculator and modeling tool.

2. Run an ROI Model

Calculators that establish if a process is a good candidate for RPA can be a great assistance. Our RPA calculator for feasibility provides a % score of how good a fit a specific process is for automation. Others may just provide a Yes / No answer. As useful as these tools are, ROI models must provide a cost savings in dollars or whatever currency a company does business in. More often than not, RPA cost benefit analysis will be expressed in FTE, or full-time equivalents. FTE is the number of workers, or worker weeks, months, or years, that will be saved. By taking the FTE and applying it to the salary of that worker plus other expenses like benefits, taxes, equipment and overhead, the true ROI can be ascertained.

Our ROI modeling first checks to see if a process is rules based. We also determine if the information is digital or not, and if the information is structured or not. We check if there will be any changes in the process anytime soon or in the software tools used in the process. Stable and static processes in addition to rules based repetitive ones make the best candidates for RPA.

We will check for the frequency of the process and what is its volume. We will also want to find out how much time processes take and if there are peaks as to when it is required. Next, we will map out exactly how many steps there are in a process and flow chart it. Once we have completed all these actions, we will calculate how much human worker time is saved by automation, gather all the associated costs of human labor, and compare them to the technology and service-related costs to implement RPA. After completing all of this we will be able to provide a comprehensive ROI.

3. Evaluate Results

Once we have an ROI model in hand we will attempt to validate it. We will re check all our assumptions and review what the model has delivered in terms of results. If the ROI comes back stating that there is not a fit for RPA we will attempt to solve any business inefficiency through other means like re designing workflows or maybe even outsourcing or offshoring. If an ROI exercise comes back as being a fit, we will start work on a plan for implementation of RPA with our clients. If we are to move forward, we will also ensure that a project is self-funding and will make sure clients understand that any deployment will pay for itself in X number of months. Once we deliver on a project we will track against this ROI and document that the savings are indeed generated.

Want to Learn More?

As we mention at the start, RPA projects should pay for themselves. Learn about What is RPA and when to hire a RPA Consultant. RPA or AI projects must have a demonstrated ROI and a positive impact on a business, otherwise, what is the point. We will want to help a business think about how it can redeploy and better use any saved FTE and refocus people on higher value work as part of project conclusion. At Valenta we focus on SMB clients who can sometimes struggle with RPA and automation and not have large staffs in house to support their efforts. At Valenta we offer local managing partners and consultants, offshore consulting, and offshore software integration staff to implement RPA projects, and to provide RPA as a managed service.

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