By Alex Owen-Hill

How do you measure the impact of robotics training? Calculating ROI for training can be tricky. Here’s how to do it simply and effectively.

The return on investment (ROI) for collaborative robot technology is a straightforward calculation. Our downloadable ROI calculator makes it especially simple.

However, the return on training investment (ROTI) is not so clear-cut.

Training is about imparting knowledge to your workforce, which is naturally quite difficult to measure.

Related: Robotics ETFs Outside The U.S. Are Growing, Too

How much has your workforce actually learned from a series of training sessions? Does the knowledge translate to real changes in their work? How does it affect the bottom line? These can be tricky to quantify, especially if you’re just getting started with robotics.

In this article, we’ll show you how to measure the ROI of robotics training. With the right tools and knowledge, it’s surprisingly straightforward!

A general approach to measuring ROTI

There are three steps to measuring the return on training investment (ROTI):

  1. Pick metrics that suit your business and are affected by robotics training.
  2. Track these metrics before and during your robotics training program.
  3. Use the results to estimate the program’s ROTI and improve the effectiveness of future trainings.

The challenge with these three steps is that they’re quite broad. Each incorporates several tasks. The first step (picking metrics) involves choosing from hundreds of metrics, some of which are more suitable than others.

Let’s take a closer look at the process.

Metrics: the key to ROTI measurement

Metrics let you measure the performance of a business in an objective way. Almost anything can be a metric, as long as it can be reliably measured. We showed how to design your own robotic benchmarks using metrics in a recent infographic.

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of different metrics you could choose from to measure the effectiveness of robotics training on your business.

For instance, robotics training will affect manufacturing metrics like cycle time and yield, economic metrics like revenue growth rate and economic value added, and performance metrics like customer satisfaction and growth rate.

Training permeates the culture of a business, so it can have a far-reaching impact – but its financial return is not as clear as with other investments. That’s why ROTI can only be accurately calculated by measuring the impact of training on more specific economic metrics.

How to calculate ROTI

There are two ways to calculate ROTI:

  1. By applying a rule of thumb, like the 30-to-1 rule.
  2. By tracking the change in economic metrics compared with the cost of training.

The rule of thumb way

One quick way to estimate ROTI is to use the 30-to-1 rule for delegating tasks, as popularized by author Rory Vaden.

Let’s take a simple example (this one comes from Module 3 of our learning program). An automation engineer wants to train a line worker to program a robot for a pick-and-place task:

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