7 Tips for Keeping Cemetery Records
If you are a cemetery, crematorium, or funeral home, records management is an essential function of daily business. In addition to accessing critical financial and regulatory records, maintaining up-to-date information on your customers, their families, and their relationships has real business impact.
Does your current records management software solution do enough to protect and support your business? The below tips will help your cemeteries, funeral homes, or crematoria keep accurate and relevant records to inoculate against threats and grow future business for years to come.
1. A digital solution for keeping records
Your cemetery needs a records-keeping system, and not a manual one. Increasingly, the expectation from customers, your community and regulatory authorities is that important records and documents are online, accessible, and up-to-date. How much time would you save if all your deceased records were online and able to be searched? For many cemeteries, responding to requests to search records takes resources away from the day to day running and operations of the business. The more records you have, the more resources are being spent searching through them.
A fully integrated record management solution enables you to report on your finances, regulatory requirements, deceased search, business trends, available inventory, and much more. Can your current solution do this? A comprehensive solution can manage everything from funeral home bookings, chapel hire and event management, plot management, graveyard mapping, interred records and compliance – all in one, centralized place.
If you're still sifting through paper files to find records, or feeling overtaken by physical records, it's time to consider going digital.
2. Maintain accuracy in record keeping
Your records need to be accurate. The single most important step to moving to a digital solution is ensuring all your data is migrated into your new cemetery software. This process alone will often identify duplicates, missing records, damaged or incorrect records.
Depending on storage conditions and access to your historical records, essential documents may in part be unreadable and damaged by age, wear, and tear. Consider reaching out to your local community who can help; they may be at the local church, historical society, council, etc. Remember your records preserve the history and development of your community, local celebrities, settlers, and are important for the continuity of your community.
3. Ensure compliance in records keeping
Compliance with regulatory agencies keeps the cemetery and funeral industry protected, but can become a painstaking process if records aren't stored meticulously.
Deploying an accurate solution makes meeting your regulatory and compliance requirements easier. A clear dashboard with standardized reporting will ensure that you have the information you need at hand instantly and in a real-time environment.
In addition to information as required, you can schedule standard reports to be available based on your local reporting requirements and compliance. Rather than recreating these reports each time, new data will automatically be brought in and reflected in reporting.
4. Use business intelligence to uncover insights
Harnessing the data from your records removes the guesswork and delivers clear, actionable insights into your business. Do you know your sales revenue trends, your largest customer base or supplier base? Unlocking this information allows you to better prepare for future trends, and address any areas that are not performing as expected.
Using analytics over your data provides an objective way to identify overarching trends, as well as recognize opportunities or threats within specific areas of your business. Hunches are helpful, but data provides proof of what is working and what needs addressing.
5. Tap into a wider audience with customer records
With your records online you are now able to respond quickly to any deceased search queries, but you can also share this information online so anyone anywhere can view the records of people buried or interred at your site. Opening up your business to a new audience may help increase your revenue.
With popular services such as Ancestry.com, legacytree.com, myheritage.com, 23andme.com, and others gaining worldwide attention, interest in genealogy continues to grow at record pace. As people trace their family history and roots from anywhere in the world at any time, connecting families with burial records opens opportunities for cemeteries to begin conversations and foster new client relationships.
6. Control access to records
Make sure your records and the information you are storing are safe, secure, and in the correct hands. Most solutions are role or permission based so you can set up the structure you need to ensure users can only see and edit the information that is relevant to their role.
Using role-based security also means users are compelled to use your business process for each department. Implementing record keeping software creates more efficient business practices, fewer errors, and reduces the induction and training time for new employees.
7. Disaster recovery for fatal incidents
With any digital solution make sure you schedule regular back-ups of your data and test that these back-ups work. There is nothing worse than thinking those weekly backups are working, only to discover after a critical incident that you are unable to use or restore data.
Disasters are usually unpredicted but can have a catastrophic impact on your business; they may include fire, flood, tornado, anything. Ask your solution provider about automatic backup – this is one of the critical benefits of a records management platform.
Each of these steps can help manage the lifecycle of records for your cemetery or crematoria. The right records-keeping management software ensures that you are meeting compliance requirements, serving an ever-connected global community, exceeding customer expectations, and planning for the future of your business.