Savvy business leaders understand how important it is to quickly demonstrate success when implementing brand new processes and technologies. Achieving positive results early on validates the investment decision, establishes buy-in and shared vision for further leveraging the new capability, and ultimately delivers future success for the organization. If you’re considering implementing Robotic Process Automation (RPA), these outcomes are undoubtedly at the forefront of your mind, and they should be. This post suggests three ways to measure your success as you initiate and scale your RPA program.
1. Cost Savings
Let’s begin with the most obvious success metric: cost savings. Depending on how quickly you scale, automation projects are sure to eliminate thousands of hours of labor per year. For example, Gartner estimates that automating financial reporting alone can save finance departments up to 25,000 hours of work annually. While that may only be possible for the largest organizations, it highlights the potential for RPA to significantly reduce any company’s investment in currently manual tasks.
To be clear, history indicates that automation seldom leads to mass layoffs as workers’ jobs often change to meet new or evolving business needs. That said, cost savings do often materialize in one or more of the following ways:
- As employees leave the company through natural attrition, you’ll find that you have enough capacity that you don’t need to backfill.
- As new customers come aboard, you’ll find that you can meet your obligations with the combination of your human and digital team, negating the need to hire. This not only saves money normally designated for salary, but it also saves the expenses associated with hiring and training.
- Automation gives you the opportunity to reassign your current team to new projects or even different departments, filling open seats with existing team members instead of through hiring.
Over time, direct cost savings become significant and almost always deliver a compelling ROI. According to industry research, the average breakeven timeframe for RPA programs is 14 months, and companies typically achieve a 250% ROI on their initial investment.
2. Increased Employee Engagement and Retention
Another way to measure RPA success is by observing how it affects your employees. A successful automation implementation should lead to increased employee engagement and retention. After all, when you automate the work that employees find most tedious and instead assign them to work that requires their creativity, judgment, empathy, and relationships with others, they’re bound to be much more satisfied and stick around.
The key to achieving success with your team – aside from calming their fears by clearly communicating what you’re up to – is to optimize the target process before implementing automation. The process may need to be modified, but more importantly, you may find that it’s not properly or consistently implemented by your team. If you start with training your team on the existing process to ensure they’re on the same page, you eliminate confusion and frustration as you begin to introduce automation.
As each automation is subsequently developed and deployed, your team’s time is liberated, and they can focus on higher value parts of their jobs or take on new work altogether. In either case, your employees are delivering greater value to your organization and, consequently, for themselves.
3. Improved Customer Experience
As so many of your key processes impact your customers, another key measure of RPA success is to determine how it improves their experience. If implementing automation can speed up service request times or create a higher quality deliverable, your customers will undoubtedly benefit, and you should make every effort to measure that impact.
Here are a few examples of how automation has improved our clients’ ability to better serve their customers:
- A banking client was able to utilize automation to speed up the process for underwriting commercial loans so that their customers received their loan funds more quickly.
- A treatment center client utilized RPA to automate the process their patient-facing staff used to log billable hours, enabling them to spend more time with patients instead of on administrative tasks.
- RPA enabled a research company client to aggregate and process data more quickly and accurately, giving their customers higher quality reports delivered earlier in the monthly reporting cycle.
Building the Case for Automation
The cumulative impact of an automation program is that you can eliminate bottlenecks in your operations that cause you to slow your growth. Whether you utilize automation to reduce costs, retain your employees, or better serve your customers, you’re ultimately putting your organization in a better position to seize market share or go after brand new opportunities that may have previously been out of reach. This business growth is the ultimate measure of success with automation.
Are you interested in exploring all the ways that RPA can impact your business? Schedule your discovery call with R-Path Automation today!