The organizations often look for immediate, tangible benefits like how much are the costs reduced following the implementation of any new technology. But, the actual benefits of intelligent automation go much deeper than that.
Any company that implemented Intelligent Automation knows that success depends on many factors, not on the technology alone. There are many other factors like the employees, governance, delivery, or the operating model to be considered.
Full-time equivalent savings are commonly realized in three ways: reduction, cost avoidance, or freeing up human capacity.
Reduction is easy to calculate. You would assign a benefit equal to the fully loaded cost for every FTE in the company who is not required to work on your automated process. The entire cost of an employee is included in the fully loaded rate.
Although the cost avoidance calculation is very similar to that of reduction, it differs because cost avoidance is not yet included on the company's balance sheets. This is why it is sometimes called a soft benefit.
Freeing up the human capacity is when the digital worker makes a portion of the task that was initially a part of the human worker's job. In this case, you can save from 10 minutes/day to one hour/week to cumulative savings across the business.
Not so hidden are the direct and measurable benefits. These include:
Productivity – If a digital worker can work 24/7, that means 8,760 hours every year, unlike human employees that are productive around 7 hours/day, 20 days/month, 11 months in a year, totaling around 1,540 hours.
High accuracy and high quality - Digital workers ensure consistency and eliminate human error.
Training and hiring – there is no need to hire or train digital employees. This reduces recruitment costs and the time taken by existing employees to train new staff by up to 15%.
Don't work twice: If you don't make mistakes, you don't have to correct them. Rework is expensive and takes time. You can do more work and finish it faster if you don't need to redo any work.
Other operational benefits include faster turnaround times, better forecasting, fewer complaints, and risk mitigation.
Indirect benefits are the ones we can not see or quantify from the beginning.
Customer satisfaction: If you can deliver products and services faster, easier, and without errors, it will positively affect your customer satisfaction. Higher Net Promoter Scores (NPS) ultimately lead to greater lifetime value for your business. Also, you will have fewer customer complaints and dropouts. Loyal customers can help improve your brand reputation and spread the word about your business to their friends and colleagues.
Employee satisfaction - You can improve the fulfillment of your employees by automating low-value, less-rewarding tasks and processes. High employee satisfaction is often overlooked. But once you consider it, it leads to increased productivity, lower turnover, and less stress.
Risk Reduction Compliance - The impact of risk can vary greatly. The most fundamental benefit is the reduction of checks and measures, which can reduce turnaround time and eliminate human checks.
Getting it right from the first time means more than just productivity and profitability. It also removes errors and reworks. It's fundamentally about delivering quality, consistency, and ensuring that your customers trust you to deliver on their promises.
Process Excellence - This is more than just a method. It's about improving your business' ability to create and deliver value to customers. Your employees will be able to look at ways to improve the efficiency of their work processes because they will have enough time to do it. You also gain a new team that can work on transformative projects and then just reaps the rewards.
Once you are clear about the benefits you can expect, you can focus on a few specific processes. You can use those already in your pipeline or recently deployed ones.
As you develop new ways to show benefits, your benefits category will continue to grow. Using automation will make it easier to reuse the same metrics and classes you already agree on. This is part of your cultural adoption and acceptance of automation.
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