“You can get everything you want in life if you’ll just help enough other people get what they want.”
Why is it so hard to get great results from cemetery and funeral home software?
I worked at a moderate sized cemetery in various stations from grounds maintenance to president for over 8 years. In between were preneed sales counselor, office administration, sales manager and a 10 year stint as a CPA. During those years we were in the earlier stages of software capability in our industry but there were good, basic packages that were designed to make our lives better. Yet I never felt like we really achieved the results we wanted from our software. If the software we used (two separate packages during that time period) was fundamentally good, why didn’t we get great results?
Since my days actually working in a cemetery, I’ve served over 15 years as a software consultant representing the largest software developer in our industry. During that time I was intimately involved in many small, medium and large (including the 3 largest companies in the business) implementations of cemetery and funeral home specific software costing many millions of dollars. Yet there is always a feeling that the process should have been faster, simpler and less stressful (not to mention, less expensive). While the majority of our customers were better off after the implementation, I never really felt like most of them were receiving the benefits they expected. Why is this?
Part of the reason is that our industry is among the most difficult that you will find. We’re part bank, part realtor, part grief counselor, part telemarketer, part horticulturalist… the list is almost endless. We sell a fairly small number of contracts yet the number of payments, trust transactions, commission entries and general ledger entries explode into the thousands from a single sale. For example, each month when the largest company in our industry allocates trust earnings, the result is well over 1,000,000 transactions. Our desire to have a single, integrated software package requires software companies to create increasingly complex applications. Add to this the myriad regulatory requirements which differ from state to state and the absolutely endless variations of commission calculations and payout and it’s a miracle that the software doesn’t explode. So there’s a lot of good work being done in the software area but the complexity is beginning to provide negative returns.
So you need software but it’s very difficult to actually benefit the way your desire. What’s the answer?
Hopefully Necessary Work can be part of the answer. We have many years of experience within our 4 person firm both in industry related software but also in the actual day-to-day workings of cemeteries and funeral homes. We’re far from knowing it all but we do understand that many companies purchase great software but never achieve great results. I believe it’s primarily because you can’t leave your daily work of serving families to devote the required time necessary to properly configure your new software, migrate your current data into it and arrive at, in a reasonable time period and at a reasonable cost, a place where your firm receives the full benefit your software is capable of delivering.
We look forward to the opportunity to speak with you and, possibly, help you achieve the great results you are looking for.