Business Management At An Irish Cancer Society Shop Commerce Essay

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I am going to compile a full report on the management process which I have seen within the Irish Cancer Society Shop where I was doing my work placement. I believe that I can improve it. Think of a new management process or a business plan as a route map of a journey. I am starting here and aiming to get there. On the way there are many difficulties. The terrain and weather represent the conditions of the markets we trade in. It may be mountainous or hilly; there may be swamps and rivers. The competition is represented by fierce monsters that will try to eat you. To complicate matters they may move around and change shape just like real competitors. Changing conditions are represented by storms, earthquakes and floods. On my journey there may be friends who can be my allies help my deals with some of these problems. They may help me across ravines or provide boats over river. My skills and abilities are represented by where I start from, by my fitness, agility and strength and by things I carry with me on my journey. So I may be able to dodge some monsters, beat down others with weapons I have brought or use ropes I carry to climb down a cliff face. Pursuing this metaphor, I have an answer for all those people who claim they are too busy to take part in time-wasting planning. or doing a new management process We are all too busy; we all have too much to do. But imagine these people as struggling through a swamp; carry a huge weight (their workload) on their backs. Or might see the road, only a few paces away that would make their so much easier. Using planning or new management, like using a route map on a journey, is essential to finding my way.

There are major differences between the journey of a business plan and a normal physical journey:

Markets, competitors, technology, customers, government regulations, etc may change frequently and radically, although most ordinary journeys are over pretty static terrain.

Whereas the road map I buy in a shop is fairly clear, the route map of this business plan journey may well be quite unclear in places: sadly I can't see all the obstacles or enemies until I am right on top of them.

My destination may change between different versions of a business plan (a new management process) as condition change and I re-evaluate my situation.

In this report I ought to organise what to be in the plan before I start writing it. This will save me a lot of time later on as you realise that you have put something in the wrong logical place or the wrong place for the flow of my narrative. Clearly, I needed to explain how the market operated, in order to correct any misconceptions. Then I needed to convince the readers of my report I could make a successful new entry into this well-established marketplace with something different. In order to complete this it was essential to explain how I will create a particularly strong management process for my work placement "Irish Cancer Society shop".

This journey begins with what is meant by management. While there are many definitions of management, there is no universal agreement on what is meant by the term. From as early 1903 management has been defined in various ways by theorists, for example, Taylor (1911):

"Knowing exactly what you want people to do, and then seeing that they do it in the best and cheapest way. Taylor's definition, however, is rather simplistic, as management is a much more complex process. 1916, Henry Fayol stated that":

To manage it is to plan, to organise, to command (staffing), to lead (co-ordinate) and to control.

Fayol's definition of management therefore gives us five key elements or functions:



Commanding (Staffing)

Leading (Co-ordinating)


Recent management theorists offer different definitions of management, such as:

Management is a set activities (including planning and decision-making, organising, leading and controlling) directed at an organisation's resources (human, financial, physical and information) with the aim of achieving organisational goals in an efficient and effective manner.

The first skill of my management process is


Planning is perhaps the most basic of all management functions, which is concerned with establishing goals and objectives and looking at future activities in an organisation up plans of action to deal with situations which may arise.

It can be defined as:

"The systematic development of action programmes aimed at reaching agreed business objectives by the process of analysing, evaluating and selecting among the opportunities that are foreseen."

To create a good management process for our shop, while it cannot see into the future, without planning we are purely leaving things to chance, it doesn't have to be scenario planning. Planning should at all time be perceived as a means and not an end in itself. So it is important that we do not bogged down in the detail of planning as they become bureaucratic and fail to acknowledge the ever changing business environment.

2.2 Types of Planning

There are three types of planning, Strategic, Tactical and Operational Planning. I chose for my management process the operation planning.

In the table below I set out the types of Plans



3.2 Types of Plans

Planning level


Performed by

Length of time


To establish organisational objectives and goals

To match corporate objectives with available resources

To assess external environment

To assess internal environment

Topmanagers(including, chief executive officers)

Long-range(for example 3-5 years)


To implement specific parts of a strategic plan.

To give direction and allocate resources among sub-units or departments.

To focus on achievement, rather than deciding what to do.

Middle Managers( for example, heads of departments)

Intermediate( for example, 1-5)


To focus on carrying out tactical plans.

To accomplish tasks with available resources

To contribute to departmental


Supervisors (for example, office managers)

Short- range(for example, up to 1 year

The Management Process within Irish Cancer Society shop

Management Plan in the shop

When I was doing my work placement, I have seen a simple management process within the shop. The plan of the shop is to focus on the staff training and help them to understand and appreciate the reason why it is always necessary to implement change. There is a lot of competition in this area, so the shop always needs to work at ways to improve. For instance, improving quality is a good one, improving on pricing friendliness and above all being always willing to listen and help customer.


The shop pays yearly each shop of Irish Cancer Society covers its own work.

2.3 Maintenance

All the staff and volunteers help to maintain.


The shop has a collection and delivery service three times per week.

4.3 Location

It is important, people who shops there are happy if there are other charity shops in the same area they are dedicated to charity shop for shopping, so they know what the best.

5.3 The Area of Shop

The area of the shop is a good but not quite enough.

6.3 Donations

A lot people seem to be using charity shops as a dumping ground. Unfortunately, when they do this it means the shop has a lot of rubbish to get rid of it, which costs a lot of money per year in bin charges. Unfortunately, the shop has to learn to take the good with the bad.

7.3 Clothes

The shop sort the clothes in winter or summer, if it has a lot of either in the wrong season the shop put them in the storage till appropriate season. But the shop doesn't have enough space for storage, it's awkward.

8.3 Till

The shop has an old-fashionable till, it takes time at the till and the customer has to pay only in cash; the shop doesn't have credit card or cheque facilities.

Operation Instructions of the till

When the cashier wants to use the till, he/she has to follow the following instructions:

Please always enter your sales into the correct categories. The categories as follow:

All bags, hats, belts, shoes, gloves, scarves, hair ties (Accessories).

Vinyl Records, DVD's, CD's, computer games, tape's videos (Music).

Any made of cloth that you don't wear (Linen).

Cups, glasses, plates, pictures, ornaments, vases, toiletries, all toys and board games (Bric Brac)

Women's clothes only (women's cloth).

Men's clothes only (Men's cloth).

Children clothes only (Children cloth)

When using the multiplication button please enter the number of the items first, then x then the price, then the category. The shop doesn't have facilities if the customer wants to pay by credit card or by cheque only in cash.

To sell item, the cashier has to follow the following steps:

Enter value of item (no decimal point).

Press category key (e.g. women's cloth).

Repeat above stages for the further items, then

Press sub key.

Enter value of monies and press cash key.

By following this procedures your end of shift reading will show the total you should have in cash slip and will simplify cashing up.

Some of the staff especially the volunteers makes a lot of mistakes when using this complicated till, they have to inform the manager immediately to correct the errors before continuing the process of selling items. The manager or deputy manger only has a power to correct this error nobody else.

9.3 Discounting

The shop has discounting facilities, but they don't use the till when doing this process, some of the customers ask for discounting, the cahier asks the manager, she gives them discount without writing it.

10.3 Manager Refunds

The shop doesn't have facilities of refunding money when the customer can return goods at a later date.


In the shop, there is an organisational structure (chart) is mostly a voluntary basis. There is a manager work with volunteers, so this helps keep costs at a minimum.


The shop hires small number of staff, and rest are working as volunteers. The staffs are paid wages, the profit margin of the shop is down because the shop should would pleased when it has to lend them to either shops of Irish Cancer Society but unfortunately it still has to pay these wages. The shop focuses on staff training and helping them to understand and appreciate the reasons why it is always necessary to implement change.


There is no leadership in the management process of the shop.


The shop is keeping expenses to the absolute minimum is important, it would be so easy to go over the budget but then at the end of the year the profit of the shop would be down and management would not be pleased.

2. My Proposal (My New Operational Planning)

I would like to outline my solution for the improvement of management process above. I am going to design a new process or some changes an existing process. I think I can improve it I can make a good success and progress if the shop follows it. I have to establish organisational objectives and goals, match corporate objectives with available resources, assess external environment, assess internal environment.

In this project, I think it's better to choose the operational planning which means the short term planning of day to day functions; it focuses on carrying out tactical plans in order to achieve operational goals.

Here are some points I may want to consider when putting my operational plan together:

I'm going to explain the daily operation of the business, its location, equipment, people (customers), processes, and surrounding environment. We have to focus as well on the traditional activities, such as house-to-house collections of donated goods and money; developing and coordinating web-based fundraising, online auctions and merchandise sales; developing and implementing a strategy for individual and corporate supporter recruitment and development, recruiting, organizing and managing volunteers to fulfill various functions within the charity; making risk analyses and balancing time-cost ratios to focus effort upon the most appropriate fundraising activities with the highest chance of success.

Here I have the following steps to change some of the existence process

1.2 Technology

The most important thing in my opinion for the shop is the technology. If the shop can get computer as it really needs one to carry out research, and more up to date till and card machine. It will facilitate the work in the shop and will progress it a short time.

2.2 Production

In our organisation (Irish Cancer Society's shop) is a charity shop, the shop receives from the donors different items like new brand cloth, second-hand cloth, kids toys, antiques, electrical appliance, kitchen stuffs, and books. So in my operational plan, we can produce to the customers the cloth regarding to the weather, in the shop they receive normally home clothes, coats, Summer and Winter clothes, we cannot put the Summer cloth in Winter time and vice versa. We have to put them according to their colour.

3.2 Productivity

We have a lot of customers especially at the weekend, so we produce all our valuable products from the store at this time of the week, so we can improve the bottom line from every Euro spent on operating costs such as rent.

4.2 Location

The location of the shop right now is nice but I think is better if we find a location in Dublin downtown or nearby, the benefits associated with it because the access for transportation, air, rail, tram, and other facilities. The size of the shop is small, we need more spacious place to look attractive, and we need five separated sections for Women cloth, Mans cloth, Children's cloth, and toys and for Books. We need three stores, one of them to put the donations which we receive from donors and other one to put the donations which we sort and ready to sell. We need it from outside and inside looks nice.

5.2 Service

We need to bring new tills because the till in the shop is an old-fashion and it works slowly, we need to develop it, we need more than one till because we have a lot of customers.

6.2 Price

There is a lot of competition in this area, so we always need to look at ways to improve (e.g) improving on pricing friendly

We need to put the reasonable price on the products, so the customer can buy more stuff. The price has to be regarding to their brand, if it is a good quality we can put reasonable price, if it bad one, we can put less price especially if it is second-hand clothes.

7.2 Improvements

What improvements are needed to get the building in working condition and how much will it cost to fix it up.

8.2 Lease/Rent

The shop is leasing for one year, this is very important and make sure you understand all aspects of the lease. You don't want to be stuck in a 5 year lease if your business fails after the first year (I've seen this happen - a few times). Can we sublet? We have to the restrictions in the lease because we can't get out early if things go sour.

9.2 Maintenance

The operational costs associated with the building include the cost of gas, water and electricity, the costs for janitorial, trash removal and other operational costs.

10.2 Distribution

So it's important to work at developing excellent relationships with the suppliers of the shop and distributors; we want them to feel that you are in a partnership together so that they will try to do everything possible to meet our needs. Believe me, there will be a time when this relationship will be invaluable to the business of the shop.

It's also important that we try not to be too dependent on just one supplier or distributor. Our business' financial future will be too vulnerable if they fail us. Imagine a supplier going under who is us only supplier during our peak season. Always have backups.

Use suppliers that understand the needs of our business. Look for companies that can deliver on time, and have excellent customer service. Don't make the mistake of using a supplier based on price alone.

Select suppliers with whom you can communicate well; make certain they understand your specifications and can consistently meet your standards.

11.2 Customers -Driven

In my operational plan I would have had to focus it on the reasons why I think every business should be customer driven. It may be hard to believe now but only a short time ago that that idea was off-the-wall. Every business had customers. Every business took them into account to some extent. But very, very few were genuinely customer-driven.

We have many steps to become customer-driven:

We started to ask ourselves;"First we have to get that customer coming back". Then when we've made sure of that, we have to do whatever it takes to get her to recommend us to do next-door neighbours. What do we have to do make that happen? What do we have to do so that when she goes home she talks to the people who live next door to her, about her shopping experience? To get her talking about us with such enthusiasm that her neighbours are encourage to give us try.

Reputation is, of course, two sided. Just as people can recommend you to their friends, they can do the opposite.

A dissatisfied customer can do two things, both of which are disastrous for you. Of the two, the lesser disaster is that the customer does not back. The bigger disaster is that he or she will talk about their dissatisfaction and put off other potential customers.

All often, the real energy on the marketing front goes into attracting new customers. Obviously attracting new customers directly (not just through referral) is very important and most business have to do it.

Getting a "feel" for the customer:

Becoming customer-driving is, the above all, a question of getting closer to the customer than people usually are. Because to make the decisions that will bring your costumers back, you need to think like customer. You need to be able to wear the customer's hat, to walk in their shoes. You need to get a "feel" for the customer.

In a real sense, you need to be able to become a customer. Few people realise just how difficult this is. In retailing we call it jumping the counter". Your business may not have counters between you and your customers, but the principle is the same. The marketplace looks totally different from where the customer is standing. In our business, we have a rule which requires our top management to do their own household shopping.

Listening to customers

Listening to customers, the first big secret, now let's look a little more closely at what "direct personal contact with the customers" means.

How do you go about it

How do you make it part of your business life, day in and day out?

The key to direct personal contact with customers is listening, if you can learn to listen effectively to your customers, all the rest will follow, almost automatically.

Here is listening secret No 1

Put in a listening system, and work it;

You need a system for listening to your customers. If you don't have a system, listening will remain just an aspiration.

The second function in this management process is organising, which is a logical step in the planning process

12.2 Donations

Unfortunely, we have to accept all the donations in a very wide smile with a lot thanks to the donors; otherwise we would get a bad name and not receive any donation anymore.

13.2 The Shop's area

I think it is better for the shop to have bigger size to have bigger book shelves and enough area for the cloth and kids toys.

14.2 Technology

It is very important for the shop to get a computer as it really need one to carry out research, with a more up to date till and card machine.

So finally here in the first skill is

15.2 Planning is not budgeting

I think if I follow these steps I can get a good budget:

Separate the budgeting from the planning. The plan comes first because the forthcoming year should be seen as evaluating the first year of the plan.

Therefore I start with strategy, through the planning process I test it and develop to create individual and departments goals.

Then I produce the a financial forecast that evaluates the plan through its projected effects. This is probably done summary form-don't go into the same detail same as in a budget.

Since the plan comes first, when the time comes to do the budget the figures may change and plan figures may need to re-evaluate. This should not be seen as a problem. The plan is about setting goals, specifying actions, etc. It takes only a few short paragraph to state this but there is almost no advice on the planning process that is more important.

The second skill of my new management process is


Organising is the arrangement of all elements of an organisation to achieve its strategic objectives. From this definition, we can see that organising is concerned with activities such as deciding and choosing the best way to group organisational resources. Organising and planning are closely linked. Plans state the direction and intentions that managers have for an organisation and organising is process of co-ordination individuals and groups in an organisation for the purpose of executing the plans in the most efficient and effective manner in order to achieve organisational goals.

1.3 Organisational Structure

An organisation structure has been defined by Mintzberg as:

"The sum total of the ways in which it divides it's labour into distinct tasks and then achieves co-ordination between them. A clear organizational design can maximize your company's efficiency".

"Establishing a strong organizational structure can increase our shop efficiency, whether it consists of two employees or 200. Organizational structure identifies the positions in an office, determines who manages departments and defines individual job roles. Organizational charts or 'org' charts are often used to display the organisational structure". (

2.3 Create our own shop structure

Our shop is very small (for example, ten employees or less), a simple organizational structure identifying the manager and supporting staff roles may work. However, we still need to assess our current resources and consider future needs. Who will be in charge when the main decision maker is out of the office? Who will take on new responsibilities as work increases?

So, in our shop we need to use the organisational structure to grow up our business and to be successful charity shop. If we may have this organisational structure with one manager making decisions, when we put it into place can increase productivity, improve operating costs and employee satisfaction. If our business has grow beyond its essential structure, or our current organisational design just isn't working, it may be time to move to toward a better shop structure.

Options to develop our shop organizational structure include:

1. Design our own simple organizational charts.

2. Hire management consultants to determine you're organizational design

3.3 Component of Organisational Structure

The main components can be divided into two main areas:

Structural configuration-size and shape of structure

Structure operations of the organisational structure

The structure of our shop refers to:

The size of the hierarchy

Its span of control

The division of labour

Decision making

Its means of co-ordination

Hierarchy is associated with bureaucratic types of organisations, where there are many layers of management grades between senior managers and junior employees.

Spans of control refer to the number of employees reporting to a particular supervisor or manager.

There are two types of spans of control:

A narrow span of control means that a small number of employees report to a manager.

Whereas a wide span means that a large number of employees report to a manager.

In our management we are going to deal with narrow span of control because our shop is small, normally we have a small number of volunteers, and we have to use it to know the experience of the manager and volunteers.

Closely related to the span of control is the division of labour. In the division of labour, we will try to give any of our volunteer his/her appropriated job to facilitate their task in the shop.

4.3 Decision making

In the decision making we advice our manager to decide on how much authority to delegate from the top. There are two type of Decision making:

Decentralisation is defined as the process of systematically delegating power and authority the organisation to middle-and lower managers.

Centralisation has been defined as the process of systematically retaining power and authority in the hands of higher- level managers.

I chose for our management process the centralisation, because the manager can have a common policy for the whole shop. The conflict between the people who in the shop can be prevented by the manager. The control and co-ordination of the whole shop is easier to achieve.

The third skill of my new management process is


In my personal opinion I think the most important skill in the management issue is staffing, because having excellent staff is only half the battle, we also need a team that works. We may lack excellent staff but whatever we lack, it can be fixed.

Results of a recent survey by the Council of Communication Management confirm what almost every employee already knows: that recognition for a job well done is the top motivator of employee performance

To ensure that we will have effective staffs selected, trained and developed, we should follow the following processes: I think the manager should be objective and aware of any problem with the staff and be discreet in the handling of any matter that are personal and helpful in motivating her/his staff.

The staff recruitment process

The two major stages of the recruitment process are:

Job analysis


In our new management, we can follow these stages to recruit our staff. The first major is job analysis consists of data about each job, what activities are to be performed, and what are needed. Job analysis will often involve the use of job description and person specifications.

The following elements are commonly included in person specifications:

Physical make-up any necessary and justifiable physical requirements which are essential in the job.

Personal qualities for example, good communication, confidence, and dependability

Motivation such as high expectations of self and others.

The selection process

Once our shop's advertisement has attracted a manageable number of suitably qualified and individuals, the manager must decide on the best way to select interested candidates especially in this recession time, most of redundant are seeking to work in a charity shop. Among the selection methods available to manager are:

Application form

Curricula vitae(CVs)


Developing staff

If we fail to develop our new staff, by not providing training and development opportunities for its staff, will soon find that we are losing people and experiencing increasing difficulty when it comes to recruiting replacement. Whilst the prime responsibility for training and development must be our organisation and the individual concerned, manager has an obligation, irrespective of his or her organisation's policy, to help staff to develop their talents and acquire new skills.

To ensure our staff are rewarded for achieving organisational goals:

Staff rewards

In our shop, the manager can use the potential power of recognition and rewards. There are 33 percent of managers themselves report that they would rather work in an organisation where they could receive better recognition. Here I put guidelines for effectively rewarding and recognizing our volunteers is simple for our manager to have them when rewarding volunteers:

Match the reward to the person. Start with the individual's personal preferences; reward him or her in ways truly finds rewarding. Such rewards may be personal or official, informal or formal, public or private, and may take the shape of gifts or activities

Match the reward to the achievement. Effective reinforcement should be customized to take into account the significance of the achievement. A volunteer who completes two-year project should be rewarded in a more substantial way than one who simply does a favour for you.

Be timely and specific. To be effective, rewards need to be given as soon as possible after the desired behaviour or achievement. Rewards that come weeks or months later do little to motivate volunteers to repeat their actions. You should always say why the reward given, that provide a context for the achievement.

Staff's Motivation

There are many occasion in organisational life when good management can improve matters, and bad management can make difficult situations worse, but nowhere are these occasion more frequent than in the area of staff motivation.

Since Elton Mayo opened people's eyes to the importance of the behavioural sciences in motivation, there has been a steady stream of research findings, many of which provide managers with sound, practical ways of motivating staff.

There are many motivation theories as Maslow motivation's theory; I think the best way to motivate staff to deal with this theory in our new management. Maslow suggests that we all have five level of need and these take effect in a strict hierarchical order. The needs are:

Realising one's potential; doing what one does best and love doing.

Esteem having the respect of others; independence; status; pride.

Safety being part of a friendly, supportive group.

Physiological food; air; water.

If we consider Maslow's theory in our account to deal with in our new management we will have definitely motivated staff then successful business.

6.4 Here we have many ways to motivate our staff

Tell people up front that you are going to let them know how they are doing.

Praise people immediately

Tell people what they did right -be specific

Tell people how good you feel about they did right and now it helps the shop and the other people who work there.

Encourage them to do more of the same.

Set a good example for your staff. For instance, leave at a reasonable hour so that they know it's ok to the same.

Finally, I would like the staff to listen and take in what is expected of them. I'm trying to be bad or difficult but I would like more input, it's important to me that everyone like and understand their role in the shop. I feel sometime that the manager needs to be assertive and I would prefer if the staff come in the shop directly to be trained.

The forth skill of our new management is


Leadership is the process of motivating people to act in particular ways in order to achieve specific goals.

Naylor's (1999) definition indicates clearly that leadership is an ongoing process which involves the motivation of others to achieve the common goals of an organisation. Authority and responsibility are essential components of achieving of leadership in deciding the way forward and in the success or failure of achieving agreed goals.

Leadership involves power, which usually defines as the potential to influence the behaviour of others. If leadership is seen as a process and as a series of actions which can be identified, then it can be learned, to some extent.

1.5 Theories of leaders

One of the theories of leadership is Trait theories which concentrated on the qualities required for effective leaders, suggesting that leaders are born not made. Trait theorists sought to identify particular personality traits which were common to all leaders and which caused them to be self-selected leaders. The traits or characteristics that appeared most frequently were:


Height (that is physically tall)




And vision

Cleary the leadership thing is important, I think if the shop it will more successful if it has a leader; otherwise there would be no structure.


In my opinion the manager of the shop of has to be responsible for all matter and has to accept this in the contact. The management must the aware of and contact of all monetary dealing in the shop. The control must attend meeting with management and always be aware of what their aim is. Work hard at keeping control down and be open minded to any cost cutting plans that maybe needed. The budgeting process is about the short term and about setting financial goals and forecasts in order to control the shop.

Review the new process

I am having implemented the above new process; the plan was useful, so I must review its progress. To get new successful process I advice to use SWOT analysis, which is about listening Strength, Weaknesses, and Opportunities Threats, is standard in my plan.

I set up new changes on the above new process as I mentioned, I had lots of excellent ideas for staff training and providing customer information. I provided them to my manager in the Irish Cancer Society Shop, she appraised them and took them into her account as good ideas they would radically improve them improve the staff and customer satisfaction. However I am not experience in setting up a new business and don't realise how few hours there are in a day, nor how much there is to do nor how tired you get. Some of the changes are progress compare with my plan e.g. staffing, technology (the shop brought new card machine) and customer services. The change of the location of the shop went wrong, because there are many charity shops around, it has to change it. The manager must be challenge, from time to time, to think radically and review the whole way he/she does things. My changes must be review during the year if it is to be of any practical use. I think my objectives and strategy still valid for the shop; it doesn't have to reset these objectives for the shop.

The conclusion

I started my long route of map of business journey by compiling a full report about the management process which I have seen in my work placement (the Irish Cancer Society shop), I defined the main five skills of the management process, there are: Planning, Organising, Staffing, Leading and Controlling and their function in my new management process.. I wrote about the existing process of the shop which consists of the plan of the shop how does it look like including: lease/rent, maintenance, pricing, technology, etc).

I came up with new management process for the shop which contains of the changes of the pricing, location, staff development, organising, leading, controlling, and review of this process which I have implemented. I got approval from the manager with very warm welcome for my new process; they changed some of the management which I gave them, but the rest they promised me to be completed in their earliest convenience.

I finish my journey by adding also a Process Flow Chart. This a simple case of processes and decisions in finding the best route at work at the of new management process.


Reference to electronic resource 18 March 2010)

Reference to a book

Wilson, John, (MANAGENETt STYLE), 2000, London, UK.

Linehan, Margaret, (MANAGEMENT), 2001, Dublin 12, Ireland.

Nelson, Bob, (1001 WAYS TO REWARD EMPLOYEES), 1994, USA.

Quinn, Feargal, (CROWNING THE CUSTOMER), Colour Books, Dublin, Ireland.