Salesforce`s entry on the NFT

Investments are the main boosters for companies’ development and they create opportunities for organizations to drive success.

Measuring the efficiency of an investment can be summed up with two key indicators:

  1. Added value: The benefits and general outcome of executing the investment at a holistic level.
  2. Return on investment (ROI): The amortization period, calculated as the amount saved or generated by the investment related to the time period it takes to cover the invested amount.

Nowadays most of the available capital is directed in tech initiatives and digital platforms that help consolidate a company’s position and deliver customer engagement and success. Next to the core tools, like ERP and CRM, the emerging technology with most ROI potential is robotic process automation (RPA). The latest financial boom around automation vendors stands as proof of the potential and trust-level in how the robots will shape the way we do business in the future.

 

In order to paint the whole picture on the return on investment of robotic process automation we must take a close look at the expenses involved and the expected outcomes:

 

RPA Expenses

  1. Implementation costs

Probably the costliest component when delivering an RPA initiative is the implementation. This is a crucial step for the desired outcome and has to be developed by an internal COE (Center of Excellence) or a certified automation partner. Having professionals implementing automations makes the difference most of the times between a successful delivery and a failed one. Costs range from 4k EUR for a simple process up to 50k EUR for a complex major process.

RPA professionals can, after a thorough analysis, deliver an assessment on whether a process is worth automating and can also give tips on how it can be improved and built as a modular part of the whole company ecosystem.

The good news is that this is a one-time cost and, if done properly, it should meet amortization in under a year.

  1. Licensing costs

The most consistent recurrent expenditure is licensing that is directly proportional with the complexity of the automated process. The least complex processes require a standalone attended robot license (user triggered), while the most complex processes are run on unattended robots (around-the-clock server-side licenses) and robot management platforms (Orchestrator).

Licensing fees also vary based on the used product and vendor. An RPA professional partner can indicate the best solution tailored to a company’s needs and status.

  1. Change costs

As the organization develops it is probable the already automated processes need twitching and improvement or even linking to new automated processes. These changes come with a development expenditure that aligns the initial implementation with the new business needs. Therefore, it is of most importance that when an automation initiative is started the scope must include future plans and needs with a wholesome approach.

  1. Management costs

Every digital platform involves some management costs for maintenance, support, user trainings and onboarding. Related to the entire implementation these expenditures represent a small part but are not to be ignored, especially if we are looking at initiatives with a deep impact in the organization.

 

RPA Savings

To fully realize the benefits of RPA we need to have a bidirectional approach: while measuring the direct monetary return it is important to also consider the holistic impact on the organization. Focusing on the financial savings is the main scope of ROI interpretation and should be the main concern when engaging an automation initiative, but also realizing the overall nonquantifiable added value is a sweet bonus:

 

  1. Direct ROI
    1. FTEs saved

Return on investment of robotic process automation mainly evolves around the human effort transferred to robots. The handiest way to measure the impact of an implementation is by summing the FTEs (full-time equivalent) saved by automating a process. This is a main indicator on whether that process is suitable for automation and most companies have at least several opportunities of this kind.

RPA vendors also come to aid with process discovery tools that monitor the digital workspace of organizations and identify patterns and areas where robots are suitable.

  1. Processes execution times

Automation speeds up processes by a factor of 10 in average. This translates into much faster delivery of work items and decision making. Afterall “time is money”.

  1. Complementary ROI
    1. Reduced quality assurance costs

A well-built automation architecture guarantees processes ran with 0 errors and continuous robot workload. This means that the quality of the outcome is flawless and inherent human mistakes are eliminated along the stream.

  1. Customer interaction and satisfaction

Reaction speed is codependent with customer satisfaction. Addressing and delivering instant resolutions to clients’ demands secures higher NPS and successful customer journeys.

  1. Non-Measurable ROI
    1. Human workforce added value with focus on complex decision making

Humans aren’t robots and as blunt as this may sound we have to take a moment and realize that our true capabilities lie in complex decision making and creativity. The false myth around robots taking away human jobs is dismantled once we realize how much more value people can bring once they are freed from repetitive tasks and companies can organically develop into new opportunities and new employments.

  1. Creativity for innovation and employee motivation (mundane brings your spirit down)

It has been scientifically proven that mundane tasks and a boring routine creates frustration and even leads to depression for humans. The sense of professional fulfillment is nowhere to be found in jobs that require us to do the same mechanical procedures over and over again. As robots take over such activities the environment for innovation flourishes and employee motivation sparks.

  1. Eliminating deadlocks and decision delays

Most organizations have interdependent decision factors that, for multiple reasons, can add consistent delays to a final business conclusion which ends up bottlenecks and deadlocks. Automating the segments in-between the human decision enables us to have a fast and improved outcome.

  1. Opportunity of rethinking and enhancing big company processes that have been gradually built from necessity

Big companies have reached maturity while adding a digital building block at every milestone of its progress. Changing to an automation mindset empowers the business owners to repaint the big picture and improve on the existing processes in order to gain an extra efficiency boost.

  1. Elimination of forced task prioritizing (companies have their plate full and)

There are many times when businesses have their plate full and can’t deliver on everything they plan so they need to prioritize and give up on some initiatives. RPA gives back time to consider all aspects of new endeavors and the key decision points.

Reports and use cases

  1. Forester on Automation Anywhere – 262% ROI over 3 years – composite organizations (multiple companies)
  2. Gartner
  3. Forbes
  4. Business Insider