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Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is transforming how businesses operate, and it is here to stay.
RPA is a type of artificial intelligence that automates various business processes or repetitive tasks, typically through software robots. This type of technology has been around since the 1960s, but recent advances in computing power have made it possible for companies to make more significant investments with higher payoffs.
Calculating ROI becomes even more critical with the rise of robotic process automation. Businesses need a clear idea about what they can gain from this investment before committing further resources to implement these technologies in their operations.
Why ROI matters in Robotic Process Automation
Essentially, the ROI of RPA needs to align with your business goals. For example, measuring ROI will help you justify its implementation to the business’ leaders.
What are your strategic goals? What aspects of your business would you like to be better than your competitors?
The answers to these questions will help you define where you need RPA and what its success will look like. If you do not have these measures, such as ROI, you may struggle to guide the planning and implementation phases. As a result, you may overlook the areas in your organisation that need it most.
ROI in RPA is essential for:
- Informing your decisions during the planning process and when implementing the technology
- Gathering proof of the success of your RPA projects so that you can visibly see the results
- Highlighting where you might need to improve your solution for optimal results
- Providing data to support the expansion of future RPA projects
Tracking ROI for robotic process automation is not an exercise that starts and ends with planning and implementation. You should continuously measure the ROI of RPA to ensure your returns continue and even increase.
How to measure the impact of RPA on ROI
Your chosen metrics should suit your business and the areas you would most like to see ROI improve. Four common metrics that you can start with include:
- Customer service: As discussed in the previous section, RPA can automate some customer service interactions. RPA can reduce customer wait times and extend the availability of customer service. This is not always an obvious measure of return, but you can review your costs pre-automation or estimate the business value of improving customer satisfaction.
- The full-time equivalent (FTE): This is one of the easier measures to examine. Essentially, FTE compares the costs of automation with the costs of hiring a full-time employee to complete the work
- Cost of errors: How much money do you spend fixing errors created by manual work? To measure how RPA improves quality, you need to measure the cost of error and compare the two.
- Business innovation: Arguably one of the more important measures of ROI in RPA. Because RPA frees up human resources, it leaves workers more time to innovate. You can measure the ROI of RPA by assigning new strategic initiatives a value and leveraging this to show how RPA has freed up human resources.
Continuously monitoring the ROI of RPA should begin during the implementation phase. You should establish a benchmark of the returns on your current processes, pre-automation. You can leverage this measurement in the planning phase to decide which processes would most need RPA.
Taking note of this is crucial in the long-term, as it will demonstrate the significance of your returns post-automation.
Start measuring the ROI of RPA from the day you launch it. This is the phase in which you measure customer service, FTE, cost of errors and business innovation.
Finally, it is crucial to continue measuring the ROI of robotic process automation to flag where you can improve and make a case for continuous investment. You also make sure to measure ROI across weeks or months – measuring it across years is too broad.
Improving ROI in the Financial Services industry with Robotic Process Automation
Organisations in the financial services industry must comply with stringent compliance standards. In this sector, RPA can improve ROI by improving accuracy and compliance at a low cost. RPA can improve efficiency of core tasks such as managing cash flow statements, financial closures, tax reports, and inventory accounting.
RPA quickly and accurately completes these processes and ensures that costs related to compliance errors stay at a minimum.
In the financial industry, ROI optimisation is a very high priority for many organisations. To maintain or grow a competitive advantage, many businesses are switching from labour-intensive paper-based systems to automated solutions that will help them complete tasks faster and more accurately. Some of the tasks RPA can manage include customer account opening, loan origination, regulatory compliance and other similar activities.
Improving ROI in the Insurance industry with Robotic Process Automation
Bots can bridge the gap between the back and front office processes to ensure front-line workers have accurate information. Businesses in the insurance industry might store data across various spreadsheets, and RPA can collate all of the information across these sheets.
The insurance world is highly systemised, heavily regulated and sometimes held back by legacy IT systems which are expensive to change. RPA can improve ROI in the insurance sector by managing customer service, processing insurance claims, handling administrative tasks, and completing all of these things in a much shorter time than it would take people.
Improving ROI in the Healthcare industry with Robotic Process Automation
Software bots are helping to improve the ROI of RPA in the healthcare sector by collecting and processing patient information, referrals and appointments. With this data, RPA then provides insights to healthcare workers to improve the delivery of care.
Healthcare professionals require immediate access to current data, which they often access across disparate systems. RPA can ensure information copies across systems successfully.
RPA improves ROI in healthcare by automating reports, providing healthcare professionals with instant access to patient data and processing healthcare claims with speed and accuracy.
Furthermore, RPA can manage back-office tasks such as managing health insurance claims for improved accuracy and reducing unnecessary payments.
Robotic Process Automation with Experteq
If you are looking to accelerate your digital transformation initiatives by improving accuracy of back office processes and reskilling staff, then RPA could be the next step for your organisation. Experteq RPA can execute faster deployments, integrate legacy and modern business systems, and improve efficiency across your business.
Read our brochure for more on implementing RPA in your business.