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8167.0 - Selected Characteristics of Australian Business, 2011-12 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 19/09/2013   
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BUSINESS INNOVATION


BUSINESS INNOVATION

The Business Characteristics Survey (BCS) collects key indicators of business use of IT and innovation in Australian business annually and more detailed information for each of these topics is collected in alternating years. The 2011-12 BCS collected detailed information relating to the use of information technology by Australian businesses.

Summary innovation data for 2011-12 were first released in Summary of IT Use and Innovation in Australian Business, 2011-12 (cat. no. 8166.0) in June 2013.

This release provides a detailed breakdown of the broad types and status of innovation. The development or introduction of new or significantly improved goods, services, processes or methods is generally considered to be innovation. Innovation is often seen as a continuous process. Therefore, it can be difficult to measure, and aspects of the process can also be intangible.

The BCS covers four broad types of innovation (goods or services, operational processes, organisational/managerial processes and marketing methods) across three innovation statuses (introduced, still in development and abandoned). These are combined to group businesses into two categories of innovation:

      Innovating businesses - Those that introduced at least one type of innovation during the reference period
      Innovation-active businesses - Those that undertook any innovative activity irrespective of whether the innovation was introduced, still in development or abandoned.
Summary of innovative activity in Australian business(a), key indicators, by employment size, 2011-12

0-4 persons
5-19 persons
20-199 persons
200 or more persons
Total
%
%
%
%
%

Businesses which introduced any new or significantly improved:
goods or services
17.0
24.4
31.2
30.3
20.4
operational processes
14.7
22.8
36.9
45.0
19.1
organisational/managerial processes
16.4
31.5
40.8
47.0
23.0
marketing methods
15.4
26.3
29.7
38.1
19.9
any of the above (i.e. innovating businesses)
33.4
51.2
63.6
69.2
41.3
Businesses with innovative activity which was:
still in development(b)
19.7
31.3
38.5
54.3
24.9
abandoned
5.8
9.0
7.5
5.0
6.9
Businesses with any innovative activity (innovation-active businesses)
38.8
56.3
68.7
76.0
46.6

(a) Proportions are of all businesses in each output category.
(b) As at the end of the reference period 30 June 2012.


Innovation-active businesses

Innovation-active businesses are those that undertook any innovative activity during the reference period. This includes businesses that introduced or abandoned any of the four types of innovation during the period and those that had any of the types of innovation still in development at the end of the period. The proportion of businesses that were innovation-active (i.e. those that undertook any innovative activity) in 2011-12 was 47%, an increase of eight percentage points from the previous year.

Innovating businesses

Innovating businesses are those that introduced any of the four types of innovation during the 2011-12 reference period. More than two in five businesses (41%) reported they had introduced at least one type of innovation during the 2011-12 reference period.

Innovation still in development

One quarter of businesses reported some form of innovative activity that was still in development as at 30 June 2012.

Abandoned innovation

During the year ended 30 June 2012, businesses that reported abandoning at least one type of innovative activity increased one percentage point from the previous year to 7%.

Further data relating to innovation can be accessed via the Downloads tab.


GOODS OR SERVICES INNOVATION

Businesses were asked to indicate if they had introduced any new or significantly improved goods or services during the year ending 30 June 2012. Businesses could report multiple types of goods or services innovation and/or multiple innovation statuses.

Goods or services innovation, by employment size, by status(a)(b), 2011-12

0-4 persons
5-19 persons
20-199 persons
200 or more persons
Total
%
%
%
%
%

Businesses that introduced any new or significantly improved:
goods
7.8
14.5
17.8
15.1
10.7
services
11.8
15.4
20.4
18.7
13.6
any goods or services
17.0
24.4
31.2
30.3
20.4
Businesses with any activity related to new or significantly improved goods and/or services which was:
still in development(c)
9.5
15.4
16.7
25.1
11.9
abandoned
2.0
3.0
3.3
2.6
2.4

(a) Proportions are of all businesses in each output category.
(b) Businesses may be counted in more than one category.
(c) As at the end of the reference period 30 June 2012.


One in five businesses introduced new or significantly improved goods or services during the year ended 30 June 2012. A slightly higher proportion of businesses introduced new services (14%) than new goods (11%). This was the case across all employment size ranges. The proportion of businesses that abandoned the development or introduction of new goods or services during the year ended 30 June 2012 was 2%.

Almost one in three businesses in Retail trade reported the introduction of new goods (29%). Businesses in Information media and telecommunications (24%) and Professional, scientific and technical services (23%) were the most likely to have introduced new services.

Further data relating to innovation can be accessed via the Downloads tab.


OPERATIONAL PROCESS INNOVATION

Businesses were asked to indicate if they had introduced any new or significantly improved operational processes during the year ending 30 June 2012. Businesses could report multiple types of operational process innovation and/or multiple innovation statuses.

Operational process innovation, by employment size, by status(a), 2011-12

0-4 persons
5-19 persons
20-199 persons
200 or more persons
Total
%
%
%
%
%

Businesses that introduced any new or significantly improved:(b)
methods of manufacturing or producing goods or services
4.9
7.5
11.9
14.0
6.3
logistics, delivery or distribution methods for goods or services
4.0
4.8
7.7
11.3
4.6
supporting activities for business operations, such as maintenance systems or processes for purchasing, accounting or computing
8.1
14.2
26.8
34.3
11.5
other operational processes
0.5
0.2
np
0.4
0.4
any operational processes
14.7
22.8
36.9
45.0
19.1
Businesses with any activity related to new or significantly improved operational processes which was:(b)
still in development(c)
6.5
12.4
20.4
28.5
9.5
abandoned
1.6
1.7
2.2
1.7
1.7

np not available for publication but included in totals where applicable, unless otherwise indicated
(a) Proportions are of all businesses in each output category.
(b) Businesses may be counted in more than one category
(c) As at the end of the reference period at 30 June 2012.


During the year ended 30 June 2012, 19% of all businesses introduced new or significantly improved operational processes. New supporting activities for business operations, such as maintenance systems or processes for purchasing, accounting or computing was the most commonly reported type of operational process innovation (12%).

The proportion of businesses introducing new or significantly improved operational processes increased with each successive employment size range. This was the same for businesses with operational processes still in development.

The highest proportion of businesses introducing new methods of manufacturing or producing goods or services was in the Manufacturing industry (23%). Businesses in Rental, hiring and real estate services were the most likely to have introduced new or significantly improved supporting activities for business operations, such as maintenance systems or processes for purchasing, accounting or computing (21%).

Businesses in Electricity, gas, water and waste services had the highest proportion of operational processes still in development (19%). Businesses in the Information media and telecommunications industry were the most likely to report abandoned innovative activity related to operational processes (4%).

Further data relating to innovation can be accessed via the Downloads tab.


ORGANISATIONAL/MANAGERIAL PROCESS INNOVATION

Businesses were asked to indicate if they had introduced any new or significantly improved organisational or managerial processes during the year ending 30 June 2012. Businesses could report multiple types of organisational/managerial process innovation and/or multiple innovation statuses.

Organisational/managerial process innovation, by employment size, by status(a), 2011-12

0-4 persons
5-19 persons
20-199 persons
200 or more persons
Total
%
%
%
%
%

Businesses that introduced any new or significantly improved:(b)
knowledge management processes to better use or exchange information, knowledge or skills within the business
8.9
17.1
23.8
29.2
12.6
new business practices for organising procedures
6.0
12.1
18.4
25.5
8.9
new methods of organising work responsibilities and decision making
8.3
19.7
27.8
27.4
13.4
new methods of organising external relations with other businesses or public institutions
3.7
5.4
9.0
8.6
4.7
other organisational/managerial processes
-
-
np
np
-
any organisational/managerial processes
16.4
31.5
40.8
47.0
23.0
Businesses with any activity related to new or significantly improved organisational/managerial processes which was:(b)
still in development(c)
5.1
13.6
18.2
23.7
8.8
abandoned
1.1
1.6
2.0
1.0
1.3

- nil or rounded to zero (including null cells)
np not available for publication but included in totals where applicable, unless otherwise indicated
(a) Proportions are of all businesses in each output category.
(b) Businesses may be counted in more than one category.
(c) As at the end of the reference period 30 June 2012.


Overall, 23% of all businesses introduced new or significantly improved organisational/managerial processes. Knowledge management processes to better use or exchange information, knowledge or skills within the business and new methods of organising work responsibilities and decision making were the most likely organisational/managerial processes to be introduced (both 13%). Overall, 9% of businesses had new organisational/managerial processes still in development. A small proportion of businesses (1%) abandoned the introduction or implementation of new or significantly improved organisational/managerial processes.

Almost a quarter of businesses with 200 or more persons employed reported organisational/managerial processes still in development (24%). This was five times the proportion reported by businesses with 0-4 persons employed (5%).

Businesses in Health care and social assistance and Financial and insurance services were the most likely to have introduced new or significantly improved knowledge management processes to better use or exchange information, knowledge or skills within the business (both 17%). Businesses in Rental, hiring and real estate services were the most likely to have introduced new methods of organising external relations with other businesses or public institutions (11%). Manufacturing had the highest proportion of businesses with organisational/managerial processes still in development (18%).

Further data relating to innovation can be accessed via the Downloads tab.


MARKETING METHODS INNOVATION

Businesses were asked to indicate if they had introduced any new or significantly improved marketing methods during the year ending 30 June 2012. Businesses could report multiple types of marketing methods innovation and/or multiple innovation statuses.

Marketing methods innovation, by employment size, by status(a), 2011-12

0-4 persons
5-19 persons
20-199 persons
200 or more persons
Total
%
%
%
%
%

Businesses that introduced any new or significantly improved:(b)
changes to the aesthetic design or packaging of goods or services
2.9
4.2
6.0
10.7
3.6
new media or techniques for product promotion
11.1
19.3
23.5
30.1
14.6
new methods of product placement or sales channels
2.6
4.3
5.8
7.1
3.4
new methods of pricing goods or services
4.4
6.5
6.2
5.0
5.2
other marketing methods
0.3
0.2
0.2
0.2
0.3
any marketing methods
15.4
26.3
29.7
38.1
19.9
Businesses with any activity related to new or significantly improved marketing methods which was:(b)
still in development(c)
9.3
16.4
17.5
14.1
12.1
abandoned
3.1
5.0
3.8
1.2
3.7

(a) Proportions are of all businesses in each output category.
(b) Businesses may be counted in more than one category.
(c) As at the end of the reference period 30 June 2012.


One in five businesses introduced new or significantly improved marketing methods during 2011-12. Businesses were at least three times more likely to introduce new media or techniques for product promotion (15%) than any other type of marketing method innovation. The proportion of businesses that reported new media or techniques for product promotion increased with each successive employment size range, with an example of this marketing method being the use of social networking sites. As reported in Business Use of Information Technology (cat. no. 8129.0), the propensity for businesses to report a social media presence also increased with each successive employment size range.

The likelihood that businesses introduced new or significantly improved marketing methods increased with each successive employment size range, from 15% of businesses with 0-4 persons employed to 38% of businesses with 200 or more persons employed.

Almost a third of businesses in Retail trade introduced at least one type of marketing method innovation (32%). The introduction of new media or techniques for product promotion was most commonly reported by businesses in Arts and recreation services (24%). Businesses in Administrative and support services were the most likely to introduce changes to the aesthetic design or packaging of goods or services (7%). Businesses in Wholesale trade were the most likely to introduce new methods of pricing goods or services (10%). The proportion of businesses with new or significantly improved marketing methods still in development ranged from less than one in 20 businesses in Agriculture, forestry and fishing to one in five businesses in Arts and recreation services (20%). Businesses in Retail trade were the most likely to have abandoned marketing methods innovation (9%).

Further data relating to innovation can be accessed via the Downloads tab.


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