STEP Membership Survey

Regular Membership - Summary of Results

In January 2019, 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 Annual Membership Survey was distributed electronically to 267 Regular STEP members in January 2019. The administration of the survey included a notice from the President & CEO advising members of the upcoming survey, an initial request to respond as well as a series of follow-up reminders.  At the close of the survey, 59 responses from Regular Members were received.  The responses account for a response rate of 22.0%, which is a decrease of 12.7% from the 2018 Membership Survey.

The 2019 Membership 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 75% of members plan to utilize Market Access Program (MAP) funding, 73% plan to utilize Customized Market Intelligence and Research Report services, and 66% plan to attend Outgoing Trade Missions.  In the 2019 survey, 98% of respondents indicated a willingness to recommend a STEP membership to other exporters and 86% of respondents indicated that they received very high/high value for their membership investment.  This strong endorsement received by the STEP membership 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 2019 Membership Survey also asked members to rate the level of satisfaction with STEP services.  Regular Member respondents are most satisfied with Outgoing Trade Missions at 76%, Educational Seminars at 74%, Customized Market Intelligence and Research Reports at 71%, and Guidance and Advice on Exporting at 70%.

The survey results indicate that membership business projections for 2019 are strong and reflect a positive outlook for export sales in 2019.  Respondents indicate that 72.4% are expecting an increase in export sales in 2019, 24.1% of respondents expect their sales will stay the same, and 3.5% indicated they expect a decrease.  Regarding staffing levels, respondents indicate a positive outlook with 48.3% expecting an increase in staffing levels, 48.3% expecting to maintain their staffing levels, and 3.4% expect a decrease.  Key findings are as follows:

  • 98% of respondents indicated a willingness to recommend a STEP membership to other exporters.
  • 82% of respondents indicated that STEP has worked very effectively/effectively with their company to expand their export market initiatives.
  • 86% of respondents indicated that they received very high/high value for their membership investment.
  • 86% of respondents indicated that STEP has a very high/high understanding of their industry or sector.
  • 80% of respondents indicated that STEP has a very high/high understanding of their company’s export requirements.

The 2019 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 2019.  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 2018 was reported by survey respondents to be $4 billion.
  • The average dollar value of export sales in 2018 was reported by survey respondents to be $79 million.
  • In 2019, projections for an increase in exports was reported by 72% of survey respondents with 24% expecting the same export activity and 3% expecting a decrease.
  • In 2019, projections for increased staffing levels was noted by 48% of respondents with 48% expecting to remain the same and 3% expecting a decrease.

This year, members were also asked about the new Canada - United States - Mexico Agreement (CUSMA). 20.0% reported that they were very pleased/pleased with the agreement and 18.2% reported that they were very disappointed/disappointed with the agreement. When asked if they thought the CUSMA was better or worse for Saskatchewan than the original North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), 8.5% said it much better/better than NAFTA, 25.5% said it was much worse/worse and 66.0% said it was about the same.  Members were also asked if they supported the newly implemented $20/tonne tax on carbon emission from Saskatchewan industry. 69.1% of respondents said they strongly oppose/oppose the carbon tax while 64% said the tax would have a significant negative impact on their competitiveness.

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