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Process Automation ROI: How to Calculate Yours

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So, you’re ready to begin a new process automation project. But first, you need to get it signed off by senior management. During this meeting, you will certainly be asked the all-important question, “What return on investment (ROI) can we expect to see from this project?” The future of your project depends on your answer to this question. So, exactly how do you calculate process automation ROI? And how do you justify your process automation project?

 

Securing Budget

In a study published in January 2021, found that over 60% of the surveyed organizations are reconsidering their process automation strategy in light of new work patterns or economic circumstances. This is hardly surprising given the impacts seen by COVID-19 around the world.

Increasingly, organizations are allocating budgets and efforts to accelerate their digital business transformations, improve customer experience, increase employee productivity, and find ways to reduce costs. Process automation can play a key part in all of these strategic initiatives,” says Forrester in the Executive Summary of its Total Economic Impact™ study.

But it’s not always straightforward to get a new process automation initiative off the ground. If you can demonstrate the advantages that process automation can deliver to your organization, then you’re more likely to secure the initial budget needed to deploy your new low-code digital process automation platform. Then everyone can reap the benefits once your project begins to see results.

 

The Qualitative Benefits of Process Automation, AKA Soft ROI

These benefits, while harder to exemplify with figures, are not to be overlooked when it comes to reasons why you should embark on a process automation project. They all contribute to the greater digital transformation of your organization.

 

Enhanced customer experience: Process automation makes data available that allows the customer journey to be put into context and helps organizations to create more personalized experiences.

 

Greater employee satisfaction: Tasks that are automated are often those that are arduous, repetitive, and unsatisfying. Employees can be freed up to do more rewarding work, which in turn can make them more productive.

 

Improved process quality: Processes are planned and modeled prior to automation, which provides visibility and opportunities for simplification and process improvement.

 

Greater business orchestration: Process automation supports the coordination of people, systems, and information across the organization to support business strategy

 

Improved business agility: A “start small, think big” to process automation means the organization can deploy processes quickly, making incremental changes as they go to see impactful results, faster.

 

 

The Quantitative Benefits of Process Automation, AKA Hard ROI

Benefits that deliver hard ROI, exemplified with numbers, are more likely to get people within your organization to sit up and take notice, and are easier to calculate as it’s based on real figures that you can access.

 

The following are benefits are similar to those highlighted by Forrester in their Total Economic Impact™ Study Of Bizagi. For each one, we have included a real-life example realized by Bizagi customers who took part in the research for the report, which you can read about in our infographic.

 

Improved productivity: Automated processes are deployed throughout the business, alleviating workers from manual tasks, including auditing, saving both time and money.

Real-life example: A logistics company repurposes several FTEs by achieving an automation rate of more than 90% for a single process.

 

Overall cost savings: Monetary savings can be realized in a variety of ways, including replacing legacy systems and digitizing processes to save costs spent on paper used in both internal and external communications.

Real-life example: A financial services organization reduced operational costs of branch offices by $3 million per year thanks to reduced training costs.

 

Improved service delivery: By reducing cycle times with process automation, businesses can drive opportunities to up-sell, increase client retention rate, and decrease customer churn.

Real-life example: A professional services organization reports that process automation helped deliver two times the revenue with the same amount of resources.

 

How to Calculate your ROI

Forrester has created this easy-to-use tool so you can calculate your estimated process automation ROI over the next three years. Simply enter key details including:

  • Number of employees in your organization
  • Total annual revenue of the organization
  • Estimated number of business processes to be automated in the next three years
  • A business user’s average salary rate

This information will provide you with an estimated three-year net present value (NPV) and your estimated three-year ROI. This high-level estimate is an invaluable tool when pitching your next process automation project.

 

Forrester ROI estimator.png

Using this estimator, along with in-depth interviews with five Bizagi customers, Forrester created the study, The Total Economic Impact™ Of Bizagi’s Low-Code Intelligent Process Automation Platform. Those who used Bizagi for process automation saw an average process automation ROI of 288%, with an NPV of $24.7 million.

Try the estimator for yourself for a high-level evaluation of the ROI your organization can expect to see from process automation.

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