Why a business case is strategic for RPA deployment
RPA – The face of Automation
RPA (Robotics Process Automation) revolutionizes the way businesses of every size, industry, and geography approach repeatable, manual or process-driven tasks. It allows organizations to automate tasks across various applications and systems. RPA automation can automate workflow, infrastructure, back-office processes that are labor-intensive to streamline business processes, improve speed, productivity, and efficiency, and achieve rapid scalability with fewer errors with less cost.
A 2020 global survey conducted by McKinsey & Co. found that 66% moved towards automation to automate at least one business process. The percentage of companies that have accomplished automation has grown from 29% to 31% in 2020. It is predicted that 90% of organizations will adopt RPA in one form or the other by 2022, and others will triple the capacity of their existing RPA portfolios.
The real challenge behind Automation
Though RPA automation can bring many benefits to businesses, the challenge lies in determining the processes to be automated to receive maximum benefits. Since every organization consists of various departments, every process involved in these departments must be taken into account to make an informed decision regarding automation. By building a holistic business case for processes, the stakeholders can easily determine which activity needs to be automated to gain the maximum RoI.
Making Informed Strategic Decisions Across the Enterprise
A robust RPA Analytics solution provides collaborative dashboards so you can measure and analyze the performance of RPA operations. It also helps to quantify its financial impact on your processes and workflows. Track utilization and resource (FTE) savings, visualize RoI, and create business cases to determine the processes to automate. By analyzing the gathered data, multiple key stakeholders and process owners across your enterprise can identify, discuss and align on new areas for RPA deployment. Further, these metrics can also be leveraged to take strategic decisions around further RPA investments that may impact business outcomes in the short, medium, and long term. Despite the benefits, many organizations cannot extract full value from RPA to drive greater productivity, cost savings, profitability, and ultimately, business growth. This impediment is primarily due to a lack of analytical insights on RPA deployment. In simple terms, the struggle to improve is because of the struggle to measure.
Building the Business Case for RPA deployment
Automation, a driving force for business efficiency, has become one of the most commonly accepted corporate success principles. Businesses are constantly trying to propel themselves to the next level. Though RPA provides the technology to transform businesses, it is essential to dive deep into building a business case for automation and understand the considerations that need to be made when building the business case. Usually, the primary focus of the automation strategy is to reduce cost and increase efficiency. However, the focus should also be on how RPA gives back sufficient time to businesses to achieve the desired business outcomes.
Incorporating RPA into organizational procedures is the quickest means to gain an edge over others, but how can you be sure that automation will yield an ROI that can benefit your organization in the long run?
While RPA implementation can bring up to 50% cost savings, there is far more to measure than just the financial impact. Factors such as increased productivity, reducing errors, increasing the quality of output, among other metrics, contribute to the ROI.
RPA provides more benefits, and a quicker return on investment than traditional IT investment as the implementation can be achieved within a short period without disturbing the existing IT infrastructure. Additionally, RPA has a relatively short payback time and offers a quick return on investment.
While the business case creation process varies across different organizations, the ultimate goal is to identify which processes have the maximum potential to generate faster RoI for the organization.
Factors to consider for building the business case:
- The potential for enhanced business outcomes which in turn generate more revenue
- The ROI will be the impact of the outcomes of automated processes vs. manual delivery
- The cost of running RPA depends on its total cost of ownership (TCO) and its deployment strategy
Listed below are additional factors to be considered while building a business case to leverage RPA effectively:
The most common driver for a business to invest in RPA is to achieve higher efficiency. The following factors help in building a business case in terms of efficiency:
- FTE & Cost Reduction – RPA can be used to offer new services or increase the efficiency of existing services through bots instead of hiring employees to boost the FTE.
- Reskilling and upskilling – RPA and IA open doors for a vast range of opportunities such as Botmasters, Automation Consultants, and RPA developers. Organizations can provide training to employees to upskill them to maximize the efficiency of the workforce.
- Peak time accommodation – Peak time (holidays and Go-live projects) can be leveraged by deploying RPA, eliminating the need for additional workforce planning to handle these hectic periods.
• Generating Revenue
- RPA enables organizations to automate repetitive, mundane, and rule-based tasks with greater precision and accuracy than humans. Additionally, the below factors help in building a good business case to evaluate the benefits of RPA in increasing the revenue generated by organizations:
- New services – RPA enables organizations to be more innovative by creating new services for clients that weren’t economically feasible with manual labor previously.
Faster turnaround time – Businesses, especially B2C businesses, can generate higher conversions if the response to prospective leads is quicker than their competitors. RPA can streamline this communication process, so inquiries are being addressed as quickly as possible, thus boosting the sales volume.
- Productivity – RPA provides scalability while reducing the time taken to complete tasks, which boosts productivity. A comparison has to be done on time taken by bot vs. human to accomplish a particular task to measure RoI. Resources used for repetitive tasks can now be deployed to execute critical tasks such as planning and customer service. If implemented well, RPA can reduce the processing time and the number of people required to run the process for the same number of units produced without automation. Robots are more productive than humans as they can work non-stop, thus, increasing the number of hours available to the business.
• Cost of Maintenance
Robots offer high flexibility as they can also be repurposed for a broad range of applications and often reprogrammed to suit ever-changing needs. The robot programming and maintenance costs are lower than training and maintaining staff to do equivalent work.
RPA provides built-in compliance management where the robots are programmed for compliance issues and alerts employees to adhere to rules and regulations with great accuracy. The robots are highly efficient and don’t allow anything to pass a decision point unless compliance criteria are met, thus eliminating human errors and saving the company financial setbacks caused by these errors.
If the RPA implementation is done right, the level of customer satisfaction increases rapidly due to reduced cycle time and fewer errors. Post-implementation, the process should run faster, cheaper with more efficiency and accuracy. It is crucial to consider the correct KPI to help businesses make a better business case and initiate their automation journey.
• Quality of output
Menial, repetitive tasks are prone to errors – and these errors can cost organizations a heavy price. With RPA, this aspect can be nullified to a great extent. If the rules and decisions are installed correctly, companies can expect 100% accuracy in output because robots do not deviate from rules.
• Data Quality
Data in systems could lack quality as they are prone to human error and inconsistencies, due to which many data analytics projects have failed. RPA eliminates the possibility of human error by logging each step with consistency and accuracy that no human can match. The higher the data quality leads, the higher is the accuracy of business insights.
• Supply Chain Timelines
Implementation of RPA can bring about tremendous benefits, including the reduction of supply chain cycle time. For example: If a company has $100 billion frozen in assets from procurement of materials to sell end products. With RPA, the cycle time is reduced by 10%, freeing up $10 million in assets due to a quicker turnaround time. Thus, supply chain timelines are another vital factor to be considered while building a business case.
More and more businesses are migrating from legacy systems to other platforms and cloud-based solutions. Deploying RPA in these cases can save both time and money for such businesses, especially those that do not have APIs or database access to these legacy systems.
• Maintaining a team of SMEs to ensure business continuity is critical. Events such as redeployment of critical staff, the sustainability of the business in the face of a catastrophe, quick conduction of temporary manual operation in the event of a failure are to be taken into account by SME’s before deployment of RPA.
• Mapping RPA to employee headcount savings – Careful assessment of the value delivered by a BOT compared to an employee can only be done through careful analysis of process models. Costs of training, deployment, and organizational restructuring need to be considered while building a business case.
Eagle INSIGHT – Data-driven Analytics with business cases to evaluate the True Value of RPA
Eagle INSIGHT, a cutting-edge RPA Analytics platform from CLOUDGATE, provides excellent visibility into the effectiveness of your RPA program. Eagle INSIGHT can help you build a data-driven business case to make an informed decision regarding the adoption of RPA. Its inbuilt mechanism, called Process Vault, can determine the complexity of a process by measuring various factors such as ROI, process suitability, and complexity.
It can track, measure, analyze, and forecast the performance of your organization’s RPA effort, from productivity and utilization to errors and exceptions. With robust data and critical business intelligence from Eagle INSIGHT, you can get greater visibility into the health of your RPA deployment, understand its impact on your organization’s bottom-line, and evaluate its role in meeting your business goals.
Eagle INSIGHT, a robust end-to-end intelligent solution, can effectively perform the below activities according to your business requirements.
- Create and validate business cases for evidence-based decision-making
- Quantify and visualize the financial impact of automation
- Extract and share reports with key stakeholders, including senior leadership
- Optimize the performance of your digital workforce (‘bots’).
- Inform their decision-making concerning RPA investment, planning, and strategy
For many organizations, scaling RPA deployments is a huge challenge. Barriers to scalable RPA deployment and adoption stem from an inadequate understanding of its operational viability and potential. These, in turn, can be traced to a lack of quantifying metrics that provide a holistic view into these aspects. The main challenge lies in the lack of reliable analytical insights and respective potential business benefits of process automation. Building an integrated business case can help address this challenge with accurate forecasts.
This is where Eagle INSIGHT can help organizations make an informed decision regarding automation.
Eagle INSIGHT helps organizations create business cases to calculate the process complexity of various departments and processes to determine if the processes yield significant benefits upon automation.
Eagle INSIGHT also has a provision called Process Ranking to rank business cases based on priority to understand processes based on their importance and complexities. Process Ranking is an integrated dashboard that gives a holistic perspective of various complexities, ROI, and sustainability of processes. With the Process Vault’s built-in Process Pipeline Management capability, one can easily view each process’s status in the system by its stage – Discovery, Design, Development, or UAT. With its insight-rich visual dashboard, updated in real-time, managing, optimizing, and analyzing your RPA process pipeline is much easier than ever before.
A powerful RPA Analytics solution like Eagle INSIGHT can empower your organization and RPA Centre of Excellence (CoE) to optimize and mature your existing RPA deployment. With its data-driven insights and real-time operational performance statistics, you can even drive other strategic digital transformation initiatives to strengthen your automation-based capabilities, drive intelligent innovation, and thus improve operational, financial, and customer-facing outcomes.
Take your RPA Journey to the Next Level with Eagle INSIGHT
Eagle INSIGHT is a turnkey embedded Automation Analytics platform from CLOUDGATE, a fast-growing specialist in RPA solution development, deployment, and consulting. Calculate the bottom-line impact of your RPA program, forecast future performance/operational trends, and drive enterprise-wide strategic RPA discussions. Click here for a free trial of Eagle INSIGHT.