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IBM today announced that Maclachlans Highland Supplies

has won the IBM e-business Award at the Parcelforce
Worldwide Small Business Awards. The award was presented at a ceremony in
London last night by Julian David, IBM's Small Business Manager for EMEA.

Maclachlans Highland Supplies company is designed to offer, via mail
order, an efficient service for Pipe Bands, Solo Pipers and customers
requiring anything Scottish. The company fought off strong competition to
meet the judging criteria set by a panel from the University of Durham
Business School and IBM. The criteria was for a substantial proportion of
income to be generated by e-business and that a company's e-business plan
is viable.

As Drew Crawford, IBM Global Small Business Manager, explains:
"Maclachlans Highland Supplies demonstrated that not only was their
e-business model effective in delivering value to its customers but that
they had developed a website which offered incentives to encourage loyalty
and repeat business."

Maclachlans Highland Supplies beat a number of nominations in this new
category and will receive, as a prize, a complete review by IBM
consultants of its e-business strategy and new hardware to the value of

"With only 12 per cent of UK small businesses currently making full
potential of the Internet (Durlacher 2000) Parcelforce Worldwide and IBM
are committed to helping the UK's small businesses reap the rewards that
e-business can bring. This new e-business award is an opportunity for IBM
to acknowledge an exemplary small business that is exploiting the
potential of e-business at this, the ninth annual Parcelforce Worldwide
Small Business Awards." said Drew Crawford.

In addition to the e-business award, IBM has contributed £6,000 of
products and services to Fenn Tool, the national winner of the Parcelforce
Worldwide Small Business Awards and a further prize of £2,000 to each of
the eleven regional finalists.

Patricia Hewitt MP, Minister for Small Business and E-Commerce, commented:
"Government doesn't create wealth. Small firms and entrepreneurs do. That
is why I am committed to supporting them and schemes like the Parcelforce
Worldwide Small Business Awards, which celebrates their success. We are
continuing to build a new enterprise culture in the UK through the Small
Business Service. The SBS is championing the needs of SMEs, through its
advice and support service, and in its attack on unnecessary red tape.

"And we are providing £25 million through UK online for business to help
our small firms succeed in the knowledge driven economy. The challenge is
not just getting connected but succeeding online using the new ways of
working that e-commerce and new e-business practices bring. Half a million
of our small firms have recognised the opportunities that the internet
offers and are now trading online. I want to see this double to one
million small firms trading on-line by 2002."

Notes to Editor

1. From the Durlacher Quarterly Internet Report, SME Edition, August 2000

Durlacher surveyed over 800 companies in its latest UK SME research. Full
details can be found at

The Parcelforce Worldwide Small Business Awards are in their ninth year.
The awards sponsors are IBM, VISA International and Viking Direct.

About IBM

IBM is a world leader in providing end-to-end business solutions for small
and medium sized businesses. Through its Global Small and Medium business
organisation, IBM offers a host of cross-industry and industry-specific
solutions designed to meet the real-world needs of growing businesses.
IBM is also the leading provider of electronic business solutions and is
dedicated to helping customers, Business Partners and developers exploit
the potential of network computing across a wide range of businesses and

For further information on IBM please visit

Ref: 00/009

Parcelforce Worldwide Small Business Awards 2000

National Winner - Fenn Tool Ltd (East Anglia winner)

Special Commendation Winner - Somerford Mini Specialists (South Winner)

Export Winner - Peter Beales' Roses

Business Efficiency Winner - Active Information

IBM e-business Winner - Maclachlans Highlands Supplies (Greater London)

Viking Customer Service Winner - Paul Adler Optometrists

Other Regional Winners

North East - Yorkshire Game Ltd

North West - Sterling Events Ltd

Northern Ireland - McGimpsey Brothers (Removals)

Scotland - Loch Insh Watersports and Skiing Club

East Midlands - Gusto Construction Ltd

South East - Shrinking

Midlands - IRL Computer Systems Ltd

Wales - Graig Farm Organics

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