Cemetery Management: Best Practice Guide for Managers

May 2, 2024
Stewart Hindmarsh

Cemetery management professionals regularly grapple with a unique set of challenges. However, just like it does for other industries, technology offers cemetery managers a handful of innovative solutions which can transform many time consuming tasks.

To understand how technology can benefit the deathcare industry, more specifically cemeteries, we need to take a closer look at the role and responsibilities of cemetery managers. Only then can we refine these processes to become more efficient, respectful, and responsive to the evolving needs of families. 

By proactively addressing challenges and implementing these technological advancements, cemetery management teams will pave the way for their facilities to flourish now and into the future.

The Responsibilities Of Cemetery Managers

Understanding how to manage a cemetery comes down to the obligations and liabilities of a cemetery manager. The obligations relate to the purposes of a cemetery, the disposition of those people who have passed away, and providing the best in service, support, and solace to the loved ones left behind. These certain moral and legal duties customarily include:

  • Proper care, handling/transportation, and burial or other disposition of human remains.
  • Hours of operation and public access. 
  • Preparing and providing memorial services.
  • The safe and efficient administration of the cemetery and for the purposes of a cemetery.
  • Revenue and expenses associated with operating the cemetery.
  • Keeping all records and documents relating to the cemetery.
  • General cemetery infrastructure, landscaping and groundskeeping.

Breaches or failure to meet all responsibilities can have consequences, therefore cemetery managers need to be completely confident that they can adequately meet all their obligations. 

The Challenges

As mentioned, there are a range of statutory requirements for cemeteries and this is why cemetery managers have such a big responsibility and face some hefty challenges, such as:

  • Historical infrastructure vs. the modern needs of cemeteries from the wear and tear on monuments and headstones to outdated utility systems. Managers are tasked with the delicate act of modernising while preserving the historical essence, ensuring these spaces remain both operational and respectful to their heritage. 
  • Space constraints and environmental pressures – the expansion of urban areas has left many cemeteries with limited room for new burials, leading to potential overcrowding issues. Cemeteries also face myriad environmental threats, and these challenges necessitate adaptive management strategies to preserve the integrity and appearance of cemetery grounds.
  • Navigating financial limitations – operating within financial constraints is a reality for cemeteries, often affecting their capacity to undertake necessary maintenance or improvements. Managers must find a balance between fiscal responsibility and maintaining high standards of care and service within the cemetery.
  • Evolving societal attitudes towards death and burial – shifting cultural perspectives on death and the rising popularity of alternative burial practices, like cremation, present both challenges and opportunities for cemetery management. Staying attuned to these changes and adjusting services accordingly is essential for managers aiming to meet the diverse needs of their communities.

By being proactive and implementing cemetery management best practice and ideas, cemetery managers can meet all their commitments which is crucial for maintaining order within their business.  

Ways To Leverage Technology In Cemetery Management

In the ever-evolving landscape of the deathcare industry, leveraging advanced technology is not just an option but a necessity in order to keep up with demands. The advent of cemetery management software marks a revolutionary step forward, offering tools that not only streamline operations but significantly enhance efficiency and accuracy in recordkeeping. With the potential to improve workflow efficiency, and consequently profitability, the question arises: why do some cemetery managers still rely on outdated methods, ignoring the opportunities that digital systems offer? It’s understandable that finding a suitable technology that fits seamlessly into your existing operations may be an intimidating undertaking, nonetheless, it’s clear that it’s crucial. Let’s take a closer look at the main areas where technology can be utilized for cemetery management.  


Undoubtedly record keeping is at the core of cemetery management best practice. With a dedicated cemetery records management system, you can utilize a unified database that includes comprehensive details of each cemetery plot, burial specifics, ownership data, ancestral records, and upkeep logs. A streamlined digital setup not only guarantees precision but also makes information readily accessible, allowing staff to quickly address queries from grieving families with efficiency and sensitivity.

Compliance and Legal

In every state, stringent compliance and legal frameworks are in place to ensure that cemeteries adhere to mandated risk management practices and uphold a secure operational environment. The spectrum of risks that could potentially affect your operations span compliance, customer service, financial, operational, resource, strategic, and technical domains. It’s imperative to conduct regular assessments of your business and operational activities to pinpoint these risks. Following identification, a strategic approach to mitigate or minimize these risks should be implemented, alongside continuous monitoring and team discussions on risk management strategies. Employing a comprehensive software solution, accessible from anywhere at any time, is crucial for maintaining records and ensuring compliance across all aspects of cemetery management.

Grounds Maintenance

Ensuring a cemetery remains a place of peace and respect for visitors hinges significantly on diligent grounds maintenance. To uphold such standards, it’s essential to systematically carry out maintenance activities like grass mowing, hedge trimming, tree pruning, and the cleansing of headstones. Leveraging a grounds management software, can greatly enhance the efficiency of these operations by automating the delegation of tasks, issuing timely reminders, and compiling reports on the tasks accomplished. This technology facilitates a well-organised approach to maintenance, enabling staff to effectively manage their responsibilities around maintaining the appearance and safety of the cemetery for all who visit.

Customer Service

In every industry, technology has become increasingly significant for cultivating and improving customer experiences, and the death care industry is no exception. Meeting and exceeding customer expectations is paramount when it comes to providing exceptional service. To achieve this, it’s essential to equip your managers with tools that consolidate all aspects of cemetery management into a singular, accessible platform. Utilizing cemetery management software significantly streamlines and enhances service delivery, thereby reducing the workload and mental pressure on staff, and allowing them to consistently offer a more enriching and compassionate experience for the families they serve.

Finance and Funds Management

Effective management of finances is a cornerstone for the long-term viability of cemeteries. By automating financial tasks, cemeteries can not only streamline operations, saving both time and effort, but also guarantee precise financial records and the efficient handling of cemetery contracts. This focus on financial automation plays a vital role in maintaining fiscal health and ensuring the sustainable operation of cemetery services.

Community Engagement

Many contemporary cemetery management platforms facilitate community engagement by providing online platforms and mobile apps that enable families to connect with their loved one’s memorial space from anywhere. This technological advancement nurtures a communal spirit, allowing individuals to actively engage in the process of memorialization, regardless of geographical constraints. Through these digital channels, cemeteries can also offer a more inclusive and accessible way for people to honor and remember their loved ones, strengthening the bonds within the community.

Transform how you manage your cemetery

As you can see, embracing technology equips your cemetery with the essential tools to streamline business operations, fulfill both ethical and legal obligations, safeguard records for future generations, and extend their accessibility to the broader community.

In the realm of cemetery management, the fear of technology should never hold you back – seize the opportunity and learn how to manage a cemetery more successfully by actively seeking out and embracing advanced software solutions.

Take a significant step towards enhancing the efficiency and service quality of your cemetery, request a demo or engage in a conversation with one of our experts today.  OpusXenta stands ready to facilitate your transition from the theory of cemetery management best practice to superior technology solutions with our cutting-edge software. 

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