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5 Biggest IT Issues Facing Cemeteries and Funeral Homes

5-Biggest-IT-issues-for-Cemeteries-and-Funeral-Homes

The dramatic increase in the digital age has seen all businesses need to adapt and change their processes to accommodate a new online audience. This is particularly true for cemeteries and crematoriums, with an increasing expectation they are online, available and meeting the needs of a new generation of millenniums wanting to do business differently. Your customers and markets are changing; if you aren't feeling it yet, you will soon enough.

A recent CIO article 'The 12 Biggest Issues IT Faces Today' identifies the technology challenges facing today's business and for the most part, they also apply to cemeteries and crematoriums. Many cemeteries and crematoriums are still using manual processes, be they disparate documents or old hard copy files. These businesses have a long way to go to join the digital age, but they have a unique opportunity to jump ahead of their competition by installing new solutions now.

Here are five IT issues that are particularly relevant to the death care industry, and how to stay ahead of them:

Finding New Revenue Streams

Cremation rates are soaring, burials plummeting, and still cemeteries need to preserve a revenue stream to maintain and staff their grounds and to provide information to visitors and interested members of the public. With revenue falling for many cemeteries, budgets are also decreasing so businesses need to diversify. 

Some cemeteries have embraced an online presence providing deceased search capabilities, genealogy information and photos, and mapping of graves. Others are introducing 'anniversary' style events and functions to involve their community. Holidays such as Mother's Day, Father's Day, Christmas and Thanksgiving are being leveraged as opportunities to encourage the community to use their space to celebrate and remember. Some locations with gardens and beautiful grounds are even hosting weddings. Tours to show off historically significant sites, and even ghost tours are being promoted. 

Clearly businesses are finding new creative ways to capture the new generations, and in order to reach and engage them, you need to be where they are – online and in the digital age. 

Digital Transformation and Innovation

Cemeteries and crematoriums are in a state of needing to change; the expectation is growing that they are available and not just for a phone call regarding a deceased person, but online with a wealth of information. Deceased records are most commonly expected, along with photos and digital mapping of graves and sites of interest. Some cemeteries are now offering virtual tours to 'visit' the cemetery. Others allow deceased search results to be texted or emailed directly, linking to maps and providing a self-guided tour to the grave site.

Business Intelligence (but also Data Overload)

 The pieces to a complete cemetery and crematorium management solution are varied, and include customer care, compliance, financials, marketing, operations, sales, social media, advertising and a website. A fully integrated solution can give you this, but along with all of the information you may also face data overload. 

There is so much information available within your business. Having a handle on how you manage, report, and action the data is the key to making better business decisions.
You need a business intelligence solution to review and compare how all components are tracking to budget and targets. Seeing the data clearly and having the insights across all areas of responsibility tied together allows you to make smart decisions, improve efficiency and do better business.

Upgrading Legacy Systems

 The same CIO report found that nearly a quarter of Chief Information Officers were most concerned with upgrading legacy systems to improve efficiency. These systems may no longer be supported or may be customized outdated solutions. With any new system implementation of data migration plays a vital role in ensuring record accuracy and allowing continuity of the business. 

With older manual systems, data migration might mean having someone transcribe hundreds or thousands of records so they can be imported into the system. Many businesses put off making any change until there is a disaster or impetus to change, however the risk in these events is that your system may already be corrupted, and your historically important data lost.

Moving to 'The Cloud'

There remains a lot of confusion and fear around what moving your data to 'the cloud' means; does this mean you are open to attack? Is it secure? Where is your data being held? 

There are many cloud and hosted offerings that are safe and can provide similar security and security management as other deployment options. You just need to find the right one for your business, so you feel comfortable with the data location, controls and security.

There are a lot of issues in IT for cemeteries and crematoriums – but there is also much efficiency and productivity that could help create a sustainable future for your business. The budget may never quite be there, but demand and expectation is growing. Everyone today is connected, dependent, or touched by technology – so can you afford not to find a solution that would help your business grow and minimize the issues facing IT today?


Please complete and submit this form and we will get back to you with more information on how our cemetery management software solutions can assist you. 

Please complete and submit this form and we will get back to you with more information on how our cemetery management software solutions can assist you.

 
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Monday, 27 January 2020

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