Article | 9.12.2022

How to measure RPA's ROI?


Organizations are under pressure to do more with less, and many have turned to Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and intelligent automation to help them work smarter and faster. But how can you be sure that your automation initiative will be successful and that the investment will pay off?

Traditionally the profitability of RPA has been measured only by Full Time Equivalent (FTE) savings. While FTE savings are the easiest and most concrete metric in automation projects, they provide a limited view into measuring the benefits of RPA and lead to one-dimensional automation.


Throughout our several years’ of experience, we’ve built a methodology for measuring other values and benefits besides FTE savings. Below we’ve listed some key ways to measure the automation results.

Here are some essential ways to measure RPA’s ROI:

  1. Cost savings: One of the most direct ways to measure ROI is through cost savings. This can be calculated by first looking at the cost of RPA software and licenses, implementation costs, and ongoing maintenance costs. Then compare this to the cost savings (operating costs, personnel costs, etc) created from the manual process being automated. The difference between is your potential ROI, and we suggest multiplying that number with the time frame you’d like to use, be that 12 months or up to 5 years.
  2. Productivity gains: Another good way to measure ROI is through productivity gains.

    Measurable direct impacts can be observed through increased efficiency, such as reduced customer service processing time. Indirectly, digital assistants empowered by automation or new ways of delivering services will increase productivity. Automation can speed up process turnaround times from an hour to ten minutes, which is a significant increase in productivity. You can calculate an approximate ROI by taking the time saved and dividing it by the total cost of the RPA solution.

  3. Quality improvements: Process quality improvements are also a good way to measure the profitability of automation. This can be measured by looking at things like error rates or customer satisfaction. In some industries, quality is a priority, for example because of risk management or regulatory requirements.
  4. Employee satisfaction: Another way to measure RPA’s ROI is through employee satisfaction. Often, employee satisfaction improves when employees no longer have to do mundane routine tasks and they have more time for strategic tasks that require logical thinking and reasoning. You can survey employees before and after implementing robotics to get an idea of whether satisfaction has improved.

The measured impact should reflect your business objectives

Naturally, the benefits and cost savings are subject to the process that will be automated. The first step is to identify the specific business processes that you want to automate. Once you’ve done that, you need to gather data on the current cost of those processes, including things like labour costs, materials costs, and any other associated expenses.


Next, you should define the business objectives for the automation project, like cost savings, improving productivity through speeding up the process, saving working hours or improving customer experience. And lastly those metrics should be reflected to the overall costs of RPA implementation. You can read more about what are the costs of automation and how to start your automation journey, here.  


Of course, every organization is different and there is no one-size-fits-all formula for calculating ROI. However, this should give you a general idea of how to approach measuring the success of your RPA initiative. We as your automation partner help to calculate the lifetime value of the automation, its life-cycle cost and payback period. If you’d like to read more in depth how we measure automation results, check our Impact Driven Automation Guide.

Making the most out of your automations and mitigating risks involved in the automation life-cycle

When starting their automation journey, many organizations might underestimate the need for maintenance and support. Having a reliable maintenance system and performance monitoring enables making the most out of your automations and prolonging their life-cycle. All RPA automations will at some point eventually need updating due to changes in the user interface or other business requirements. 


We recommend having a partner that makes sure the automation performance is optimized and proactively monitors the automations and needed technological updates. This alleviates the organizations’ own employees’ workload from the maintenance and ensures quick problem solving when challenges occur. The maintenance service model is often also the most cost-efficient solution. You can read more about our customer Administer Group’s experience with our maintenance service here.


If you’re interested in hearing about automation possibilities in your organization, or need maintenance support for your existing automations, book a quick Teams meeting with us!

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