When it comes to being able to prove the value of RPA tools or establish goals for an RPA development and deployment process, success can have many facets. These metrics are important to consider when you set out on your RPA roadmap and will help organizations to assess whether they’re receiving the outcomes they want from this technology. Here are four ways you can gauge the success of RPA:
The value of freeing up humans
RPA is about augmenting humans by automating repetitive tasks that they do not wish to do. As such, employees can be freed up to focus on other, more rewarding tasks within the organization. Companies can look at added productivity from human employees who, no longer have to carry out certain tasks, can direct their time and energy elsewhere.
In addition, happier employees are not only likely to be more productive, but they might also be less likely to want to leave and take their skills elsewhere. Reduced staff turnover could therefore be a very real impact of RPA deployment.
Speed and productivity
Productivity is likely to be one of the main metrics businesses utilize RPA for. Unlike humans, who may work a 40-hour week with weekends and vacations off, RPA bots can keep churning through their workload 24/7. To measure the productivity of an RPA bot, simply look at whether certain processes are being carried out as rapidly as they were before. If so, then as long as the cost is deemed acceptable, then they’ve proven their business case.
A job done quickly isn’t always a job done well. Speed and productivity should therefore be assessed alongside accuracy. It may be that, in certain cases, getting a job done faster is worth a slight dip inaccuracy. But one of the big strengths of RPA is its rule-based attention to detail. Unlike a human employee, you’re not going to find that a data entry RPA bot starts to make mistakes toward the end of a Friday as the week catches up with them. Instead, these tools should offer a high level of consistency and accuracy regardless of the hour of the day.
You could also look at issues that might stem from accuracy (or, more appropriately, a lack of accuracy.) If human error meant, for instance, that one out of every hundred customers did not receive an order correctly because of input errors, and that this affected their willingness to be a repeat customer, an RPA bot able to reduce these errors significantly has another metric by which to prove its worth.
Industries with strong regulatory compliance requirements not only have these rules for a reason but also punish infringers with strict punitive measures including heavy fines. RPA bots can be designed to follow regulated rules as part of their coding, and will never forget or fail to adhere to these rules. Furthermore, RPA bots referred to as “attended automation” tools can assist human employees in following these guidelines by alerting them if they stray off-course in some way. Comparing previous or potential regulatory fines with the amount invested in RPA tools is yet another way of demonstrating their value.