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TGA stakeholder survey 2017

26 April 2018

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SME Assist

Awareness and use of SME assist

Industry respondents with less than 200 employees were asked a series of questions about the TGA's SME assist portal. Amongst this group (N=898), around one in five (21%) are aware of SME assist (Figure 76). A similar number (19%) are Not sure or thought that they may have been aware of the portal, while the remainder, representing 60% of the group is Not aware.

Awareness levels are generally similar amongst those who describe themselves primarily as Product sponsors and Product manufacturers (Table 56). Differences in awareness of SME assist are observed when considered in regards to the number of employees, with awareness rising from 18% amongst those who employee 1-19 people, to 24% for 20-99 employees and 29% amongst those employing 100-199 people (Figure 77). This increase in awareness did not translate to higher self-identified lack of awareness, with most of the changes driven by fewer respondents identifying themselves in the Not sure category.

Figure 76: SME Assist - Awareness (%)

Awareness: Yes 21%; No 60%; Not sure/Maybe 19%


Table 56: Awareness of SME Assist - Medical products industry categories (%)

Are you aware of TGA's SME Assist?
Role in Medical products industry Yes No Not sure/ Maybe N
Product sponsor 22 61 17 565
Product manufacturer 19 58 23 329

Figure 77: SME Assist - Awareness by SME employee numbers (%)

see Figure 77 in tabular format

1-19: N=507; 20-99: N=292; 100-199: N=95.

Employee number Yes No Not sure/Maybe
1-19 18 61 21
20-99 24 58 18
100-199 29 58 13

Just over one third of those who are aware of SME assist have taken the additional step of accessing the portal (Figure 78). Overall this level of access represents 7% of the total eligible users who answered the survey. Access levels are slightly higher amongst Manufacturers when compared to Sponsors (38% versus 34%). In contrast to overall awareness, smaller businesses (with 1-19 employees), are more likely to have accessed the portal, with 40% of those who are aware of the portal having accessed it, compared to 31% for 20-99 and 29% for 100-199 employees (Figure 79).

Figure 78: SME Assist - Accessed (Aware of SME Assist only %)

Yes: 35; No: 65


Table 57: Accessed SME Assist - Medical products industry categories (Aware of SME assist only %)

Accessed SME assist
Role in Medical products industry Yes No N
Product sponsor 34 66 124
Product manufacturer 38 62 60

Figure 79: SME Assist - Accessed by employee numbers (Aware of SME Assist only %)

1-19: 40%; 20-99: 31%; 100-199: 29%

1-19: N=89; 20-99: N=67; 100-199: N=28.

The general lack of awareness as well as the low overall use of the portal highlights an opportunity for further promotion and activities to encourage awareness and engagement with the portal amongst this target audience. Opportunities exist to target the range of relevant stakeholders here, including both sponsors and manufacturers as well as across the range of workforce sizes. A particular focus on smaller business structures represents a key opportunity area. The high numbers of organisations in the smaller employment category (1-19 employees represent 44% of those who identified the number of employees in their organisation; 20-99 25%; 100-199 8%), lower awareness amongst this grouping and the high level of engagement when awareness does occur highlights a particular opportunity for targeted promotion of the portal that will likely result in high uptake.

User ratings of SME assist

Amongst those who have used the SME assist portal the experience is generally positive (Table 58 and Figure 80). Seven in 10 or more responses received across the four measures in the survey highlight agreement with the statements presented, with fewer than one in ten identifying disagreement. In particular, users are finding the portal Easy to understand (83% Nett agreement and 3% Nett disagreement) and Useful (78% Nett agreement and 8% Nett disagreement). These outcomes indicate that the portal is well targeted to potential users and is generally likely to provide an overall positive experience for those who access it.

Table 58: SME Assist - User ratings (%)

I found the information in SME assist to be:
Statement Nett Disagree Neither Nett Agree N/A Not sure N
Targeted to my needs 9 17 70 3 64
Useful 8 13 78 2 63
Comprehensive 6 21 70 3 63
Easy to understand 3 13 83 2 63

Figure 80: SME Assist - User ratings (%)

Bar chart of Table 58 data


Some variation in ratings across sponsors and manufacturers is evident (although the relatively small sample sizes in both groups limit the reliability of this finding). Sponsors are generally more likely to Agree that the portal is useful (Sponsors 80% Nett agreement vs Manufacturers 74%) and targeted to their needs (80% vs 74%; Figure 81). In contrast, manufacturers appear more likely to agree that the portal is comprehensive (63% vs 83%) and easy to understand (80% vs 87%).

Figure 81: SME Assist User ratings Nett agreement - Medical products industry category (%)

see Figure 81 in tabular format

Sponsors: N=40-41; Manufacturers N=23.

Statement Product sponsor Product manufacturer
Targeted to my needs 73 65
Useful 80 74
Comprehensive 63 83
Easy to understand 80 87

When considered by employee numbers, the targeting and ease of understanding of the portal shows a tendency toward higher ratings amongst larger workforce sizes (Figure 82). As is the case for other breakdowns here, the results are limited by the small sample sizes being analysed. For measures of usefulness and comprehensiveness a peak in positive ratings is observed in the middle grouping of 20-99 employees.

Figure 82: SME Assist User ratings Nett agreement - SME employee numbers (%)

see Figure 82 in tabular format

1-19: N=34-35; 20-99: N=21; 100-199: N=8.

Statement 1-19 employees 20-99 employees 100-199 employees
Targeted to my needs 69 71 75
Useful 74 81 75
Comprehensive 66 76 63
Easy to understand 77 86 88

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