STEP Membership Survey

Regular Membership - Summary of Results

In January 2017, STEP conducted the Annual Membership Survey as part of an ongoing commitment to monitor both the quality and demand of products and services offered to members.  Like all surveys undertaken since 1999, the 2017 Membership Survey was conducted in an effort to seek member satisfaction and their reaction to service levels with the organization.  The survey and the results received are integral to developing products and services that are tailored to members’ needs as well as the desire to deliver them in the most efficient and effective manner.

The Membership Survey was distributed electronically to 250 “Regular” STEP members in January 2017.  The administration of the survey included a notice from the President and CEO advising them of the upcoming survey, an initial request to respond as well as a series of follow-up reminders.  The Membership Survey is an opportunity to gain member responses while asking members to qualify and rate their membership experience as well as their working relationship with the organization.  Since April 1, 2016, a total of 52 members have joined the organization and were provided the opportunity to participate in the survey for the first time.  At the close of the survey, a total of 82 responses were received accounting for a response rate of 32.8%.

The 2017 Membership Survey results indicate that STEP’s core services continue to be a strong fit to the unique needs of exporters in Saskatchewan.  Uptake of service remains consistent with previous surveys.  Strong service support continues as 74% of respondents plan to utilize Customized Market Intelligence and Research Report services, 69% plan to utilize Market Access Program (MAP) funding, and 61% plan to participate in Outgoing Trade Missions.

The 2017 Membership Survey also asked for members to rate the level of satisfaction they have had with STEP services.  Regular Member respondents are most satisfied with Market Access Funding (MAP) at 70%, Market Intelligence and Research Reports at 62%, Trade Leads at 60%, and Incoming Trade Missions at 57%.  In the area of STEP”s work in expanding members export market initiatives, survey respondents rated this service with an increase of 14% from 2016.

The survey results indicate that membership projections for 2017 are strong and reflect a positive outlook for export sales in 2017.  Respondents indicate that 78.2% are expecting an increase in export sales in 2017, 20.5% of respondents expect their sales will stay the same, and 1.3% indicated they expect a decrease.  Regarding staffing levels, respondents indicate a positive outlook with 48.8% expecting an  increase in staffing  levels, 50% expecting to retain their staffing levels, and 1.3%  expect a decrease.

To rate the membership experiences and working relationships with STEP, the same line of questions were followed from previous years for comparison reasons.  Primary service utilization responses from 2013 - 2017 have been noted including the variance levels from 2016 - 2017. 

  • 100% of respondents indicated a willingness to recommend a STEP membership to other exporters.
  • 80% of respondents indicated that STEP has worked very effectively/effectively with their company to expand their export market initiatives.
  • 75% of respondents indicated that they received very high/high value  for their membership investment.
  • 65% of respondents indicated that STEP has a very high/high understanding of their company’s export requirements.
  • 63% of respondents indicated that STEP has a very high/high understanding of their industry.

The 2017 Membership Survey also included questions pertaining to members’ business activities, a request to seek the dollar value of annual export sales and export sales projections for 2017.  It is noted that for this survey, “export” is defined as all sales originating outside of Saskatchewan.  Survey results indicate strong business growth and an increase in export sales in the upcoming years.  Key findings are as follows:

  • The total dollar value of export sales in 2016 was reported by survey respondents to be $6 Billion.
  • The average dollar value of export sales in 2016 from respondents are reported to be $86 Million.
  • In 2017, projections for an increase in exports was reported by 78.2% of survey respondents, with 20.5% expecting the same export activity,  and 1.3% expecting a decrease.
  • In 2017, projections for increased staffing levels was noted by 48.8% of respondents, with 50% expecting to remain the same, 1.3% expecting a decrease.

Associate Membership - Summary of Results

For the first time since 2000, STEP conducted an electronic membership survey directed to STEP Associate Members (companies servicing exporters). Past surveys for this division of membership were conducted only in a hard copy format since 2000 but this has not been done on a yearly basis in either format since that time.   

In January 2017, the attached survey was sent to this division of membership to gather feedback and gauge their involvement with STEP services.  Since this was a new initiative, the intent of the survey was to monitor the value, quality, and service utilization offered to Associate Members. 
Responses to the survey showed a strong endorsement from the Associates to recommend membership to other companies.  Responses also identified the satisfaction levels that Associate Members are experiencing and the value that they have received from membership. The 2017 Associate Membership Survey results indicate the following:

  • 95.2% of respondents indicated a willingness to recommend a STEP membership to other companies
  • 72.7% of respondents indicated that they received very high/high quality of the activities they utilized with their membership investment
  • 53.3%  of respondents indicated that they received very high/high value  for their membership investment

Survey results noted a decrease in the confidence level by Associate Members in Saskatchewan’s economy by 40.9%, when asked to compare to one year ago.  40.9% of survey respondents indicate that their confidence level has remained the same and 18.2% of respondents indicate their confidence level has increased.

The results indicate that the top three services utilized by Associate Membership include Global Ventures, Networking/Business Development at STEP Promotional Events and the Membership Directory/Buyer’s Guide.

Survey results indicate that the top three reasons that for joining Associate Membership was for the Networking Opportunities, Business Development Opportunities and Support of the Provincial Exporting Community. 

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