May 14, 2014

9 Advantages of Cremation for Cemeteries

If you were to secretly strap electrodes to the frontal lobes of funeral directors, you would be surprised at the brain wave changes when you say words like, “cremation” or “urn.” Funeral directors have learned not to change their facial muscles when hearing those words but the electroencephalograph cannot be repressed. Cremation is a problem for the funeral side of the world. Yet cemeterians have not yet figured out if cremation is good or bad for business. Let me assure you, it is good! I am going to explain why cremation is good for the cemetery business – however, we must modify our business The good news is that the modern-day cemeterian realizes that their master plan is a work in progress. Cremation has made it necessary to revisit master plans to change them from rolling lawns with 27-square-foot interment areas to […]
May 14, 2014

And the Survey Says…

Many cemeteries operate with the same business plan they had hundreds of years ago: Someone dies, and he or she gets buried. But the progressive cemetery has enhanced the business plan: Someone dies, he or she gets cremated, and then he or she gets inurned. Cemeteries are businesses, and they need data to run at their maximum efficiency. We need to be able to use the electronic world to capture the data. The problem is that most cemeterians do not know what data to capture. The data capture is simple when you realize that more than 75 percent of all cemetery sales (interment or inurnment is immaterial) come from people…
May 14, 2014

Cemeteries Don’t Have Preneed

This is a confusing world we live in. When a funeral home has an advance sale, we call it “preneed,” but when a cemetery has an advance sale, it’s cash money. I am not one to get hung up on semantics or proper spelling, but it annoys me when the word “preneed” is applied to the cemetery business. This world went along well enough for hundreds of years with funeral homes being funeral homes and cemeteries being cemeteries. There have been a few combination properties that were operated for a long time, but they were the exception rather than the rule. In most cases, cemeteries are cemeteries, and funeral homes are funeral homes. Some states even pass laws that forbid the commingling of the two. Black-and-white is order and discipline, but gray…
May 14, 2014

HighTech/High Touch

7 ways technology can enhance your business I have never consciously done this before in my life. I have ripped off the title of this article from another writer. Not the content of the article, just the title. John Naisbitt used this title as one of his 10 trends he identified in his 1982 book “Megatrends.” If you still have a copy of the book, the words are the same, but I added the slash. It always bothered me that Naisbitt omitted it. Now that you have heard my confession, what does this have to do with technology and cemeteries? In a word: everything. When you first think of technology and cemeteries, what comes to mind? OnStar in the graves? Video headstones? E-mail addresses that end in @heaven? Timesharing mausoleums in vacation resort cities? No, these sensational or wisecrack technology […]
May 14, 2014

Remembering Life

The funeral and cemetery profession has survived somehow, often in spite of itself. I think that memorialization is a perfect example of this fact. Allow me to point out that both the funeral and cemetery sides of our profession have not provided the long-term service that memorialization needs, to the detriment of the emergent services. Can we establish a time period that the funeral home maintains a vested interest in the relationship it has with the consumer? I think there is no doubt that the three- or fourday period from the time of death until the time of interment or cremation is a given. I have long thought that this period is too short as we serve the family when dad dies but then do nothing for the next 10 years, waiting patiently to serve them again when mom dies. […]
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