So how much does a software robot actually cost?
There is no simple answer as it depends on a number of factors, such as the number of robots, the amount of infrastructure deployed to enable their operation.
With robots capable of working 24 x 7, they deliver a large amount of capacity which then raises the question about utilisation. If the robots were only used 8 hours a day while staff are working the costs are the same but the utilisation is very different.
In developing Ether Solutions’ Return On Investment (ROI) calculator for RPA implementations, we considered many scenarios. Looking at the spread of results, the effective costs of the software robot are typically in the range £1 to £4 per hour.
Given that the software robot’s are undertaking activity that is currently performed by people, it is easy to see that just in comparison to the “Minimum Wage” or the “Living Wage” there is an attractive financial case.
Similarly, with software robots costs and capacity for work, there are a number of scenarios where they can be an attractive alternative to the use of BPO services particularly where there are data issues raised by GDPR if the service provider is not in the UK.
Once the initial investment is made to deploy software robots for Robotic Process Automation (RPA), the capacity that becomes available can rapidly change the thinking on what to automate. Would the business benefit from freeing up staff time when the cost is only £1 per hour? Incremental automation of tasks becomes easy to justify (aka "No Brainer").
With 24 x 365 = 8,760 hours a year, you might wonder how the costs can be so low?
On average a robot will work at 10 times the speed of person, therefore a robot can complete 10 x 8,760 = 87,600 equivalent person work hours per year. It is this capability that delivers an effective costs of £1 per hour. In addition, to the processing efficiency there is a benefit to quality from the removal of human errors which for repetitive tasks generally average at 4%.
As every CEO, Business Owner and Finance Director starts to become aware of the potential benefits available from the use of software robots for RPA, it is possible to see how UiPath's CEO Daniel Dines vision of a robot on every PC can be achieved.
Yes, there is an "Entry Level" cost associated with software robots hence there is still a barrier for micro-businesses, but even for those micro-businesses that have the vision and growth plans, an investment in RPA could be the mechanism to support the expansion of the business to the next level.
Please contact us to discuss RPA costs - 0845 643 4410