RPA is a fantastic thing. When implemented properly in a business it can produce some amazing results. But how do you tell what those results are? Contrary to popular belief, RPA is something that needs to be analysed, and the success of your implementation can actually be measured in very real-world terms. As long as you have set some realistic and concrete goals, then you can track and measure your progress towards achieving them as if it was any other type of marketing effort. You can track week by week, month by month and year by year, ensuring you know how well your RPA is performing and where you need improvements. And to help you along with it, here are just a few of the metrics you could use to measure your RPA success.
Of course, the bottom line is an important thing to measure, and it’s likely to be one of the first things stakeholders ask about. Have we covered the costs of doing it and made a profit? Tracking your ROI on RPA often means looking at all the other metrics and making a qualitative analysis, as well as using some facts and figures from the bottom line to back that up.
Humans doing manual, repetitive labour are going to make mistakes. Boredom, exhaustion or complexity will eventually outrun their concentration, and errors will seep in. With RPA, you can eliminate those errors. To track this, measure the amount of work that normally needs to be redone due to human error before implementation. Then measure the amount of the same work that needs to be redone after RPA implementation, and compare the difference. Every time work doesn’t need to be redone, you’re saving money.
The downtime of robotic workers compared their human counterparts is almost 0 – since robots don’t need to sleep, eat or take breaks like humans do. Instead, robots will only need to go offline occasionally for patches, upgrades or development, most of which will be planned. To understand how your robots are being utilised, choose a single process you want to study before and after RPA. Track how much downtime your employees need to sustain in order to complete the process, and after implementation track how much downtime (if any) your robot requires to complete the same process.
A recent study showed that the average cost of turnover is 21% of an employee’s annual salary. Losing employees and needing to find, onboard, and train their replacements is expensive. But since one of the benefits of RPA is increased employee retention, you will want to make sure you’re getting the advantage. Focus on measuring the retention of employees closest to the effects of automation. Include departments where roles have changed the most, and department where employees most often have to operate bots, or interact with them. This metric will take more time than others to show results, so you may need to be patient here.
One of the big reasons many businesses implement RPA in the first place is to reduce errors. As we’ve mentioned, human beings make mistakes, whereas robots tend to be much more accurate. With RPA you can reduce or even eliminate error-prone data entry – and measure how effective it is. Take stock and track how many compliance errors are occurring before RPA, on average, over a set period of time (say, a business quarter). Then track them again in a new period after RPA. You should see the number drop significantly.
After you automate a process and free the employees who did the manual labour to complete it, you can measure the labour costs saved. You can account for this in full-time equivalents (FTEs) as well as hiring, training, and salary costs. If your business has regular periods where demand is especially high, such as month end, beginning of the season, or end of a tax deadline, you can also measure the amount of temporary labour saved. Periods of high demand can be especially expensive. You’re either paying employees extra for overtime work or finding, hiring, and training temporary employees you can’t keep once demand returns to normal. Robots, however, are scalable. When those labour-intensive periods come up, you can automate the manual labour and utilise those savings in other areas. Compare the average cost of weathering demand spikes without robots against the marginal cost of scaling software during those same periods. You can do the same comparison for normal periods to see how much additional labour you can now save.
At Tocabot we don’t just implement your RPA solution and send you on your merry way. We work closely with you to ensure your programme is performing well, and you are getting the results you want. This means helping you work out what your goals are and putting a system in place to track and measure your success. We can then use that information to tweak your solution, creating a dynamic RPA solution that can change as quickly as you. For more information, just get in touch with us today.