22 ways to cut the cost of an automation program – Part 4 of 4

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22 ways to cut the cost of an automation program – Part 4 of 4

It is as critical to look after the bottom line as it is to look after the top line. There are multiple ways to cut the cost of an intelligent automation program including;

17. Don’t always opt to pay for expensive training courses: There is tremendous value to be had from attending training courses that are well formed and deliver exceptional learning outcomes. But do remember that there are so many, many opportunities to learn for free online. Most of the major RPA vendors offer free, online academies or universities. Other sources of vendor independent learning exist online and are worth investigating (e.g. LinkedIn learning, YouTube).

“If you are considering to implement RPA in your organisation globally, then start by training your own staff on RPA and build an RPA team. You can take one or two external consultant at the start to train them. But the end you will have your own RPA COE team.” 

Praven Kumar, Senior RPA and Machine Learning Consultant

“If you’re paying for any training, you’re wasting your money. All leading RPA software companies provide free training and there are enough free resources online. Learn the right way from the right source, in the right amount of time. There is no shortcut to success.”

Rajesh Nair, Serial Process Thinker, Design Thinker and Automator

18. Maximise Robot Utilisation – Robots are there to be used 24/7/365. Don’t waste this opportunity. Ensure your robots are working to their very maximum capacity so that licence costs remain low and productivity remains high,

“Are you getting the best utilisation out of the robots? From better scheduling to dynamic work scheduling and auto-scaling there are specific techniques to ensure that you are sweating your digital workforce and not leaving unused robot hours on the table.”

Arif Khan, Customer Success Manager and AI Ninja

19. Use LinkedIn, your team or network to source automation talent. There is a tremendous argument to be had for going to a specialist automation recruitment consultancy but you can hire a team directly by using LinkedIn, your existing network or team as your recruitment tool. Try those avenues first before paying fees to a specialist recruiter.

20. Calculate the IT & license costs upfront: The license model and costs of RPA tools are change more often than you’d expect. Be convinced you have a good understanding of the optimum license structure for your automation program. Seek out expert judgement on the usage of the different tool components and costs. When starting small, pay the corresponding license fee and don’t pay for functionalities that you will not use in the short term. You can always buy additional modules and functionalities as and when needed. 

Make sure you align the license period with existing contracts so you’re able to renew licenses at the same time, instead of having different expiring contracts. Even when starting small with a few licenses, remember to calculate the upfront costs of additional licenses, and educate yourself on other additional costs too (e.g. for servers to scale the automation project). The IT costs can be optimised when looking at the current and the future IT landscape. Also, include the additional (cloud) capacity in existing IT contracts.

Nirmala Chaturi, Senior Manager | Digital Process Excellence

21. Encourage 1000 flowers to bloom: A COE or head of digital or IT should not be the only source of automation, analytics and digital transformation value. Organisations should harness the intellectual capabilities of their entire businesses to develop new components to add value to their digital, automation and analytics transformation programs. Hackathons, assignments or attachments within a COE are key to shared learning and automation program success. Not everyone can be an ‘automation or digital ninja’ but firms find most people have something of value to contribute when they ask for ideas.

“Even a decade ago is was apparent that in order to create a sustainable pipeline of opportunity you need some give and take, some pull and push, in order to keep the opportunities coming in. You also need to ensure that you are not automating at the front end to just add in a load more manual work at the back end through any new initiatives. You need to change the mindset of your organisation from front to back and top to bottom in order to create long term and sustainable value from your automation endeavours.”

Wayne Butterfield, Automation Expert

22. Minimise process execution time: The goal of #RPA is not only automating processes, scaling and maintaining, it is also executing the developed scripts. Apart from effective bot utilisation, costs can be significantly lowered on how efficiently the bot is designed to run. Design scripts to execute efficiently from the very beginning to save execution cost and maximise run value.

The more effective the design is, the lesser the time it takes for the bot to run. Even smaller differences in performance can also add up to a low run time. Say your bot handles a monthly volume of 1,000,000 transactions. By not compromising on the quality, even if the bot is designed to complete a transaction by 2 seconds faster than before, this would free up the use of a license by 2,000,000 seconds or 55 hours per month, thereby effectively freeing up time for more processes to be run on the same license and helping in reduction of costs.

Nitin Kamra, Senior Manager RPA 

For many organisations the next suggestion maybe the most sensible saving advice of all

Don’t be afraid to save money by not spending it. If your organisation is not ready (e.g. being taken over, siloed culture, broken or fragmented processes, insufficient executive buy in, insufficient skilled staff, etc.) then don’t automate and digitise just yet. 

Whilst there is value to be had from a test and learn approach, there is no value to be hand from a crash and burn landing when you know it is the wrong time to begin. Wait. Get you chess pieces into the right places and then strike hard and fast to deliver exceptional automation, analytical and digital success.

What other ways are there to cut the cost of an automation program?

#intelligentautomation #bots #rpaworks #digitaltransformation#roboticprocessautomation #rpa #cognitiveautomation #digitaldisruption#digitalworkforce #processautomation #digitalfuture #digitalstrategy

Other articles: If you like this article then you may find these articles of use too.

1.    How to build a business case for Intelligent Automation and Robotic Process Automation

2.    30 ways to build a pipeline of processes suitable for Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and Intelligent Automation (IA)

3.    8 questions to ask to ensure you select the ‘right’ processes to automate using RPA | IA.

4.    14 rules for Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and Intelligent Automation (AI) success

5.    The A-Z of Robotic Process Automation, Intelligent Automation and Digital Transformation

6.    The biggest lie told to RPA customers – 50 robots equals success

7.    40 essential selection criteria to choose an RPA platform

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