The purpose of this paper is to show that e‐procurement provides manufacturing firms with new and efficient solutions to drive significant value into their business, yet…
The purpose of this paper is to show that e‐procurement provides manufacturing firms with new and efficient solutions to drive significant value into their business, yet generally the use of internet technologies to accommodate e‐procurement systems remains in a formative stage. Previous research tends to focus on larger economies, so this paper provides a new perspective by presenting evidence from the Irish ICT manufacturing industry.
The research locale is justified on the basis that the ICT manufacturing sector has a greater propensity to adopt technologies such as e‐procurement. In addition, by conducting the research in a small peripheral economy, a gap in the knowledge base is being addressed. The exploratory research adopted a quantitative methodology with a questionnaire instrument being employed to investigate various e‐procurement activities within a sample of top performing ICT manufacturing firms.
Findings show that e‐procurement is developing as a function. Significant benefits are reported, including streamlined business processes and reduced business costs. Difficulties associated with implementation are minimal, but focus on integration issues.
Limitations of small sample size negate the ability to generalise. Thus a larger scale comparative study has been initiated to investigate e‐procurement more extensively in the ICT and other industry settings in Ireland.
It is concluded that to further the integration of e‐procurement, organisations should develop a dual focus on technical and people issues to instil a culture of staff development and continuous improvement.
This paper addresses a gap in knowledge by investigating e‐procurement in the top performing firms in Ireland's ICT manufacturing sector. A picture is provided of e‐procurement development in a peripheral economy and the foundation has been laid for more extensive research in the future.
Thousands of children, and many grown‐ups too, have at last had their patience rewarded by the appearance of another Arthur Ransome in the Swallows and Amazons series. There was general unhappiness last Christmas when there was no new tale, many children appearing to think that there must be something wrong and that Christmas would not, in fact, be Christmas without a Ransome. Much as authors dislike writing to order, Mr. Ransome would surely have been touched had he seen the disappointed faces. His readers now range from the under tens to the well‐over‐twenties, for the latter are still faithful to the favourite writer of their childhood. All ages will be delighted with Great Northern (Cape, 9/‐) in which the Walkers, Blacketts and Callums go sailing round the Hebrides with Captain Flint and have adventures appropriate to a Scottish setting. Dick's bird — watching activities start the children on the trail of the great northern diver in an effort to confirm an important scientific discovery. The figure of Mr. Jemmerling, the famous egg‐collector, looms dangerously near and he is not the only enemy to be avoided. In The Story of Migration (Harrap, 10/6) Mr. E. A. R. Ennion deals not only with birds but also with mammals, reptiles, fish and insects. The information is attractively presented and illustrated. A nature book for younger readers is J. M. Young's The Blue Bowl (Chambers, 7/6) which describes a country family, their pets (wild and tame) and the fascinating life of the countryside between Perth and Aberdeen. Another book for bright boys and girls is Roger Duvoisin's They put out to Sea (University of London Pr., 12/6) which tells how the world was discovered from the time of the earliest traders to the days of Magellan. This book is strikingly illustrated with line drawings on almost every page and double plates in bright colours; it includes sketch maps, a bibliography and an index. Boys interested in the sea can read of the everyday life of a cadet in the merchant navy in The First Tripper (O.U.P., 7/6) by Peter Dawlish. Interwoven among the adventures is much practical information for boys wanting to go to sea.
ONE MUST BEGIN with Dickens. A chapter by Christopher Hibbert in Charles Dickens, 1812–1870: centenary volume, edited by E. W. F. Tomlin, and The London of Charles Dickens, published by London Transport with aid from the Dickens Fellowship, make a similar study here superfluous; both are illustrated, the latter giving instructions for reaching surviving Dickensian buildings. Neither warns the reader of Dickens's conscious and unconscious imaginative distortion, considered in Humphrey House's The Dickens World. Dickens himself imagined Captain Cuttle hiding in Switzerland and Paul Dombey's wild waves saying ‘Paris’; ‘the association between the writing and the place of writing is so curiously strong in my mind.’ Author and character may be in two places at once. ‘I could not listen at my fireside, for five minutes to the outer noises, but it was borne into my ears that I was dead.’ (Our Mutual Friend)
GREAT writers only too often go unrewarded in their life‐time and, while no one could say this of Walter de la Mare, winner of the Library Association Carnegie medal for an outstanding children's book published in 1947, it is pleasing that his writing for children should be thus rewarded. The book selected (Collected Stories for Children, Faber 10/6), contains old favourites like “The Scarecrow,” and “The Dutch Cheese.” Mr. de la Mare is especially fortunate in having found, in Irene Hawkins, an illustrator who can interpret his work so perfectly, and this volume is enhanced by her charming illustrations. One of the best anthologies for children is Mr. de la Mare's Come Hither and it is one that badly needs to be reprinted. Copies in public libraries are too well thumbed—a sure sign of popularity—but librarians hesitate to discard irreplaceable volumes of this kind.
DO children know a good book when they see it? This question was debated at the Brighton Conference during the session on Work with Young People. Some delegates said “yes, children choose the best,” but others said “no” and instanced the craze for certain ephemeral authors. To some extent both sides were right, for much depends on the literary foundations laid in early days. Children who had good books in their homes, and had guidance at school and in the public library will pick out the best (with occasional lapses), while others often enough go for the second‐rate every time. Librarians are alive to this and accordingly provide the best picture and easy reading books from the presses and, incidentally, there seems to be a wider choice in this class of literature than for any other age group. On the informative side Harrap's have just published Hippo and Patches, attractively told and illustrated tales of a hippopotamus and her baby, and of a young giraffe, both written and illustrated by Joel Stolper (5/‐ each). Margaret M. Pearson's The Story of Australia (Harrap, 6/‐) gives the main facts of the discovery, early settlement and development of the continent in the form of a brightly illustrated story suitable for reading to the five‐to‐eight year olds. Mishka and the white Reindeer is a charmingly illustrated fairy tale by Alfred Wood (Dent, 6/‐) about a wood‐cutter whose friends were the creatures of the wild. The story is simply told and of the kind that children will read until they know it by heart. Mary Shillabeer's At First (Museum Press, 7/6) is an educational picture book designed to introduce children to the differences of sex by means of brightly coloured lithographs of animals and their offspring. They will love the gay pictures but whether they will lead “to the natural conclusion of the child's own relation to its parents” seems a bit doubtful considering the tender years the book is designed for. Other animal stories which will appeal to the youngest readers are Hester Wag‐staff's The Story of Fuzzy Wuzzy and Woolly Wonder (H. Hamilton, 6/‐), about two engaging bob tailed sheep dogs who play their part in the life of the town and win prizes in the Salvage Drive. The new method of illustration by colour photographs is used in The Friendly Adventures of Button and Mac, by Ursula Hourihane (O.U.P., 8/6), and the teddy bear and Scotch terrier heroes, their bedroom, their picnic with luncheon baskets, crockery, biscuits and all the minute detail children love, are attractively designed in colour, and in line drawings. The stories are designed for the six‐to‐ten year olds. The same age group and probably those a little older will enjoy the fancy in Frank Batchelor's Golden Journey (Newnes, 6/‐) in which a lean tabby, a musical hedgehog and an unaccomplished frog set off to find some money to comfort them in their old age, and the lesson they learn thereby. Another imaginative tale is The Flying House, written and illustrated by C. W. Hodges, about an inventor whose house is suddenly carried away by a balloon while he is showing it to two children. High up in the sky they come to a rocky island, encounter a witch and other strange things, but all ends well. For those who missed Walter de la Mare's The Dutch Cheese, The Scarecrow, and other stories there is now available his Collected Stories for Children (Faber, 10/6) containing these and many other tales, all illustrated by Irene Hawkins. The Brownie Scouts is a Polish children's classic by the late Mary Konopnicka, poetess, novelist and traveller; it is published by the Riverside Press at 10/6. It is in the old tradition of fairy tales with plenty of difficulties to overcome and with lively conversation giving it a modern touch. The brownie people depicted are a likeable lot and should become favourites.
TO the lover of books Paris is one of the most charming of cities, for almost from time immemorial she has had bookstalls and book‐sellers, and for two or three centuries at least there have been delightful open‐air book boxes ranged along the quais, especially those from the Pont Royale to the Pont Notre Dame, with their actual interests and potential treasures. The bookstall keepers are of many types and of both sexes. Some are good natured philosophers who, plying their trade for the sake of a living, are always open to bargain if one spots a treasure that one desires to possess. Others are more serious salesmen who well know the value of their wares, unless perchance some rara avis has got into their possession which is in value beyond their ken. Yet others are wonderful scholars, who not only know the value of the books, but love books for their own sake, and actually suffer pangs of regret to part with them when a customer comes along. These are mines of information regarding editions, title pages, colophons, and all the small data which may make a book extremely valuable, and without which the book may be worth next‐door to nothing. The women book‐sellers, mostly buxom dames with smiling faces and bright alert eyes, are keener over a bargain when selling their books than their male confreres, and though often possessing expert knowledge have a tendency—some of them—to over‐estimate the value of their possessions, and to say “But yes, monsieur, this is a rare edition,” when one questions the price, and knows quite well that there is nothing at all special about the book.
CHEKHOV'S SHORT STORIES reveal, above all, his observation and love of mankind. He depicts people as they are—good, bad, or a mixture of qualities and defects—never judging them or moralizing; he even seems to love them all equally and is, indeed, a kind of Russian Chaucer in the way he stands aside and observes. Cruelty is the only sin he condemns.
VIRGINIA WOOLF'S FIRST TWO NOVELS (The Voyage Out and Night and Day) are fairly conventional in form, the characters revealing themselves by their conversation and action…
VIRGINIA WOOLF'S FIRST TWO NOVELS (The Voyage Out and Night and Day) are fairly conventional in form, the characters revealing themselves by their conversation and action. Even her third novel (Jacob's Room) only breaks two conventions—it eliminates plot, and it abolishes the omniscient author, thus Jacob is seen through the eyes of the other characters. This, however, was not an innovation.
HERALDED by a leading article in The Times which appeared on the morning of its publication, the Report on the Public Libraries System of Great Britain by Mr. Lionel R. McColvin is now available. It will, without doubt, be the most carefully read current work in its own field, and its suggestions will be subjected to the closest scrutiny. Our correspondent in “Letters on Our Affairs” makes the first step in our pages in this direction, although, as he indicates, his views are merely preliminary. Last month we suggested that if such a report were issued by the Library Association, it should be made quite clear that it is the pronouncement of an individual and not an official document in the strict sense. Already, of course, as The Times leader seems to suggest, the distinction between Mr. McColvin's work and the views of the Library Association have been confused in the public mind. That was inevitable. But we understand that the Association at a later time will issue its own considered statement of what it thinks to be necessary and practicable in the re‐construction of the library service—if, indeed, it is reconstructed—to meet after‐war needs. On the whole, the book is quite readable and betrays very little of the hurry in which it must have been written: its facts seem to be sound and marshalled with considerable skill; its general outlook is generous. With much of it there will not only be agreement; there will be enthusiastic agreement. In so far as it is a proposed system for post‐war organization, it follows the lines already suggested by the Regional Systems created for Civil Defence, involving larger library areas administered from what Mr. McColvin believes to be the central town or other focus of each area. The counties as such disappear, the smaller towns and villages merge into the central town, and so we get in one way or another a cohesive, self‐sufficient and mutually supporting set of libraries in each area. It is around the choice of area and all its implications that discussion will rage and upon which it will be most difficult to obtain general consent. These units, however, while essential to Mr. McColvin's scheme, cannot be regarded other than as proposals to be discussed. Librarians will be quick to see that many of them will become branch librarians if the scheme matures, but in every one of the many schemes we have seen for post‐war re‐construction, larger units than the present ones are invariably implied, and this of necessity means the disappearance as chief officers of many now holding office. This is only one item in a whole series of discussable proposals. We hope that every one or our readers will study the Report and will bring to the common discussions that must be forthcoming a complete and, we hope, impartial understanding of what is involved.