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No Gimmicks Here

Every so often customers ask us to calculate their Return on Investment (ROI) for an upcoming automation. "Other web sites have ROI calculators," they say. "Yours doesn't."

Let's put the fear of God into the marketing department: Where's our ROI Calculator?! So-and-So has one on their site! Where's ours, why don't we have one? People want to know!

The blunt answer is that we think they are misleading and, well, just a marketing tool. They don't give you a real answer. Placing an ROI calculator on your web site to help sell your product is, in our opinion, a gimmick. Maybe cute, but still just a gimmick.

Two companies automating similar processes will experience entirely different benefits. Even if the benefits are substantial, they're not uniform and certainly can't be summed up with a one-size-fits-all formula. We know this, we've experienced it over and over again. So we don't put one of those doo-hickeys on our site.

"Two companies automating similar processes
may experience entirely different benefits."

Let's give you an example of what we mean: Company A and Company B both automate similar business processes. Before Aestiva automated them, both companies passed around spreadsheets. (No, you are not the only one still doing that.) After they automated they both experienced huge savings - with ROIs greater than thirty to one. But the reasons behind the ROIs were not the same. Why?

Company A is a manufacturer. They use a purchasing system for non-stock purchases. Once they installed the Aestiva system, fiscal oversight increased. Now management can monitor spend closely. Spend for non-stock goods went down by 6 percent, saving the company $200,000 annually.

Company B is a business with high government reporting needs. Their paperwork had become such a burden they were thinking of hiring more staff. They knew the extra staff would cost them about $200,000 annually. Instead, they installed a system from Aestiva -- making sure we tailored it to their needs so new hires would no longer be needed.

So the two companies saved the same amount of money, but for totally different reasons. And what if they had used a one-size-fits-all ROI tool to try to forecast their benefits? The results wouldn't have shown them what actually happened. So you see, ROI Calculators are not a substitute for investigating the reality of your situation. Worse, they give you false comfort. They may be a good sales tool, but to those decision makers who are short on time and serious about saving money, they're a distraction. It's why we do not do ROI calculators.

ROIs come from many sources and they are often far greater than you may have imagined. But that's a topic for another post.

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