STEP Membership Survey

Regular Membership - Summary of Results

In January 2020, STEP conducted the Annual Membership Survey as part of an ongoing commitment to monitor both the quality and demand for products and services offered to members. 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 survey was distributed electronically to 261 Premium, Regular and Pre Market STEP members in January 2020. At the close of the survey, 64 responses from these were received. The responses account for a response rate of 24.5%, which is an increase of 2.5% from the 2019 Membership Survey.

Survey results indicate that STEP’s core services continue to be a strong fit to the unique needs of exporters in Saskatchewan. Results note that uptake of service remains consistent as 78.1% of members plan to utilize Customized Market Intelligence and Research Report services, 73.4% plan to attend Outgoing Trade Missions, and 64.0% plan to utilize Market Access Program (MAP) funding and Trade Leads. 

100% of respondents indicated a willingness to recommend a STEP membership to other exporters and 96.7% of respondents indicated that they received very high/high value for their membership investment. This strong endorsement is viewed as an important message of value as it is derived directly from the membership base who are the consumers of the products offered. 

The 2020 Membership Survey also asked members to rate the level of satisfaction with STEP services.  Regular Member respondents are most satisfied with Incoming Trade Missions at 74.2%, Customized Market Intelligence and Research Reports at 72.1%, Outgoing Trade Missions at 71.4%, and Market Access Program (MAP) funding at 67.7%.

The survey results indicate that membership business projections for 2020 are strong and reflect a positive outlook for export sales in 2020. Respondents indicate that 68.3% are expecting an increase in export sales in 2020, 28.6% of respondents expect their sales will stay the same, and only 3.2% indicated they expect a decrease. Regarding staffing levels, respondents indicate a positive outlook with 49.2% expecting an increase in staffing levels, 46.0% expecting to maintain their staffing levels, and only 4.8% expect a decrease.

It should be noted that the survey was conducted during the initial stages of the Coronavirus/COVID-19 outbreak but after the world-wide pandemic designation and the resulting impacts on the international travel and commerce had become clear.

o rate the membership experiences and working relationships with STEP, the same line of questions was followed from previous years to establish a trend analysis. Primary service utilization responses from 2016 - 2020 have been noted in a summary format on Page 5. The summary also includes the variance levels for comparisons of primary service utilization responses from 2019 - 2020. 

For the third consecutive year, in an effort to compel members to rate the STEP services, the 2020 survey questions did not include a “neutral” category and instead provided the option to indicate “don’t know/not applicable”. 

Key findings are as follows:

  • 100% of respondents indicated a willingness to recommend a STEP membership to other exporters.
  • 95.1% of respondents indicated that STEP has worked very effectively/effectively with their company to expand their export market initiatives.
  • 96.7% of respondents indicated that they received very high/high value for their membership investment.
  • 91.8% of respondents indicated that STEP has a very high/high understanding of their industry or sector.
  • 80.3% of respondents indicated that STEP has a very high/high understanding of their company’s export requirements.

The 2020 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 2020. 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 year.  

Key findings are as follows:

  • The total dollar value of export sales in 2019 was reported by survey respondents to be $508 million.
  • The average dollar value of export sales in 2019 was reported by survey respondents to be $9 million.
  • In 2020, projections for an increase in exports was reported by 68.3% of survey respondents with 28.6% expecting the same export activity and 3.2% expecting a decrease.
  • In 2020, projections for increased staffing levels was noted by 49.2% of respondents with 46% expecting to remain the same and 4.8% expecting a decrease.

45.2% of members surveyed have been STEP members for less than five years. When asked how long they have been exporting goods/services from Saskatchewan, 42.8% of members have been exporting for over 16 years.

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