STEP SEVEN: COST ANALYSIS

As a general rule of thumb, the more complex the process, the more time it will take to develop a bot and the higher the cost. There area number of different factors to consider when calculating the cost.

Development factors include:

  • Complexity of the process – as assessed in the last stage
  • Complexity of deployment- access to systems etc
  • It is important to remember however that once developed, most automated solutions are significantly cheaper to maintain and so while there is an initial cost for development, it is not recurring in nature.

Maintenance factors include:

  • Outside of software updates, little is needed in terms of maintenance for OCR, Process mining or Task Mining or Chatbots.
  • With RPA as elements within a process change, so too must the bot but this doesn’t mean it needs to be recreated from scratch. As an example if the bot needs to click on a button when visiting a website and that button moves, this specific element will need to be updated but nothing else.
  • The ability to manage and control your robotic workforce is no less important than managing a human one. As your virtual workforce grows, this becomes especially critical to ensure you maximise the productivity of your workforce.

Vendor factors include:

  • Different vendors have different licenses which are typically monthly or yearly in length
  • The type of license you need may differ depending on the solution, for example an unattended RPA BOT (one that operates free of a human) is more expensive than an attended RPA bot license.
  • Each bot DOES NOT necessarily need its own licence
  • You might think of a licence as renting a tennis court for the day. If you only take an hour for a game, you still have the court available for the rest of the day. So its possible to run several bots using one license.
  • Don’t forget that as gold partners to major automation vendors, you can enjoy a significant discount by working with Proservartner!

Example

Let’s now review the entire analysis to determine if the process is suitable to automate.

A busy aerospace manufacturer has a lot of uncommon components they need. Their team of two people in procurement need to onboard 50 new suppliers each month.

STEP ONE – GATHERING STAKEHOLDERS

In step one we mapped out our stakeholders which in this case would have been the Head of Purchasing who would of had the biggest influence over the project and the two purchasing team members for whom automation would of had the biggest impact.

STEP TWO – BUSINESS PRIORITIES

When we assessed the benefits that automation would bring against the purchasing department’s priorities we saw that this process had a 40% match.

STEP THREE- BRAINSTORMING

In this stage we would have considered other processes within procurement which could have been automated.

STEP FOUR – FEASIBILITY

After mapping out the process we were ale to determine that it had a strong potential to be automated.

STEP FIVE – RETURN ON INVESTMENT

We have been able to identify £2760 of savings that could be made by automating this simple process. There would also be a cost associated with delays associated with errors which would no longer be a problem once automated. In terms of non-monetary gains, it gives the purchasing team 2 more days a month in which they can do site visits and build relationships, instead of paperwork.

STEP SIX – COMPLEXITY

At this stage we discussed how a qualified Business Analyst was needed to assess complexity, and in assessing this process decided it was only a low complexity and would take a matter of days to programme.

STEP SEVEN- COST

The ultimate cost of this process would depend on which vendor we went with but considering the simplicity of the process, we would imagine you would see a return on investment pretty quickly.

As you can see from this example it is not that difficult to asses processes for automation as long as you have a sound understanding of how that process is carried out and the variables at play. many organisations who start their automation journey do not expect that such a manual review of their processes will be needed, but this is a crucial first step in any automation roadmap.

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