Measuring the ROI of RPA: Efficiency leads to profit

September 2, 2020
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Innovation Insights
Jack Myasushkin
Measuring the ROI of RPA: Efficiency leads to profit

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The benefits of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) are well documented. Businesses around the globe are harnessing the speed, efficiency, and reduced costs of automation to streamline many business processes. If you are a follower of our blog then you will know that we focus extensively on providing sophisticated RPA solutions to businesses across a wide variety of sectors

In order to harness the full power of RPA, businesses need to develop an RPA roadmap and strategy to align with their current business strategy (which we have already covered so we won’t go into too much detail here). Despite RPA technology being around for some years, many business leaders still require tangible metrics in order to evaluate the potential and forecasted impact of automation’s capabilities. So, your friendly WeAreBrain tech nerds and analytic gurus have identified tangible ways to measure the impact of RPA implementation within your business. If you require any more convincing as to how impactful RPA can be not only in your business processes but also your bottom line, then look no further.

Here is our list of 5 effective ways to measure the ROI of an RPA implementation.

1. Full-time equivalent (FTE)

The reason why this is no.1 on our list is because it is both the most obvious and the most important metric when it comes to RPA ROI calculations. In this context, FTE refers to the total number of working hours a full-time employee provides a business within a fixed time period (most commonly in months or years). The aim is to calculate the cost of manual process performance conducted by an employee against the cost of automating the same process. 

These key metrics are best used through the automation of rules-based, repetitive tasks such as data entry or common administrative processes where either internal or external teams of a few employees are required. RPA can handle this type of data entry far quicker and more efficiently than its human counterparts. This translates into a definitive boost in ROI due to the need for fewer employees (i.e. fewer wages). Why get more people to waste time on tasks that RPA can do better and faster, and ultimately, cheaper?

RPA’s ROI calculation:

(employee hourly rate) * (number of hours for an employee to complete a task) – (RPA hourly rate) * (number of hours to automate the same task)

= total hours saved per month/year = total costs saved

2. Hours back into the business

One of the biggest draws of RPA for most businesses is its ability to take over the abundance of simple administrative tasks previously performed by employees. Commonly, employees find themselves having to provide an unnecessary amount of time performing payroll processing and other such repetitive tasks, which could otherwise be devoted to more complex processes that involve critical thinking and problem-solving. 

The ‘hours back to business’ metric can be measured by calculating the number of hours (and equivalent value) freed up by automation. The value promise of the number of hours that can be put back into business operations will directly improve your business’s RPA ROI. These newly available hours can be used for more productive work, including client acquisition, strategy, new projects leading to a wider scope of work – the possibilities are endless. Essentially, it provides you with more time to complete more work. So the question is: how much do you value your time?

RPA’s ROI calculation:

(number of hours for an employee to complete a task) – (number of hours to automate the same task)

= total hours saved per month/year put back into the business

3. Improved accuracy and quality

Another impactful feather in RPA’s hat is its ability to eradicate human error. In this sense, businesses can benefit from the reduction of hours spent correcting mistakes and oversights committed by employees and ill-conceived back-office processes. When these errors occur, the result is having two or more people essentially do the same job previously tasked to an employee. Human error will always be a part of business, however, each error carries with it its own cost – time or money, or both. RPA can step-in to improve accuracy and overall quality of output, eliminating any human errors which could carry additional costs to rectify. 

Of course, with improved process optimisation and higher quality of output thanks to RPA, the calibre of work produced is dramatically improved which will directly augment your business’s bottom line – therefore bolstering your RPA’s ROI.

RPA’s ROI calculation: 

(number of human errors per month) * (amount of hours to compensate for errors) – (number of hours to automate the same task) 

= total hours saved per month + improved output quality

4. Service availability

Most business owners who fly the flag of capitalism high all wish for one thing: more hours in the day. Because time is money, and you only make money when you are manually working. Unless RPA is involved, that is.

RPA allows businesses to operate 24/7, 365 days a year thanks to robots not requiring human comforts such as rest, downtime, sleep, lunch breaks, etc. RPA bots can assist with customer queries at any time, from anywhere, which boosts customer satisfaction levels enormously. Increasingly, customers now expect around-the-clock availability from service providers, and instead of hiring more people to work day and night shifts, RPA can handle surface-level customer interactions all the time. So businesses can operate in an ‘always-on’ manner, and more operating hours directly translate to a beefed-up bottom line. 

Additionally, manual process levels can fluctuate because of backlogs or dependencies on specialists to perform sensitive tasks. RPA can assist yet again in this regard by freeing up capacity so that services run smoothly and constantly, resulting in shorter waits for customers as their queries are dealt with more efficiently. 

RPA’s ROI calculation: 

(number of employee contact hours per month (day shift)) + (number of employee contact hours per month (night shift)) – (24-hour automation cost)

= total hours saved per month + improved customer satisfaction

5. Improved compliance 

Many businesses are required to be compliant with various rules and regulations dictated by both internal and external sources. This is most common in the highly regulated banking, insurance, and healthcare sectors where large amounts of data require handling and verification. RPA bots assist with ensuring these businesses stay ahead of rules and regulations governing these processes by providing fast and efficient compliance through the early detection of issues. Flags can be raised early so businesses can take an early leap forward in resolving any issues which may occur. Early detection helps preempt any costly catastrophes before they occur which saves time and money to resolve, especially when dealing with large volumes of sensitive data.

Usually, human teams are appointed to handle compliance tasks, but with the high volume of data, it requires large teams working full-time around the clock. Again, human error is a concern in this regard as there is an abundance of complicated and sensitive data and one simple error can cost a lot to detect and rectify. RPA can help reduce the number of hours and manpower required for the simple tasks, leaving the more complex issues to be handled by humans.

RPA’s ROI calculation: 

(employee hourly rate) + (number of human errors) + (amount of hours to compensate for errors) – (number of hours to automate the same task)

= total hours saved per month + improved compliance + no need for error rectification


The bottom line is that RPA can directly improve your business’s bottom line if adopted and implemented correctly into your existing business strategy. These 5 RPA ROI performance metrics help businesses evaluate the tangible rewards of automation’s intervention. Robots are not here to take over, but they do assist in streamlining simple business processes to allow employees to focus on high-level complex tasks which can directly lead to more business. As seen above, the rising demand for efficiency at lower costs directly impacts a business’s bottom line. So, RPA’s ROI is proven time and again through the variety of these available metrics.

Get in touch with us today to see how we can help power your business’s digital transformation through the power of sophisticated RPA technology.

Jack Myasushkin

Jack is WeAreBrain's CTO and Co-founder. Originally from Ukraine, he has skipped between Ukraine, the United States and the Netherlands throughout his career.

Working Machines

An executive’s guide to AI and Intelligent Automation. Working Machines takes a look at how the renewed vigour for the development of Artificial Intelligence and Intelligent Automation technology has begun to change how businesses operate.