Friday, February 27, 2015

Where is the burial vault industry headed?

Blake Swinford,
Project Manager
How often do you think about the future of the burial vault industry? With cremation on the rise, it should be a constant thought in your head. It is our job to encourage those currently working in our industry, as well as future funeral professionals, to remain educated on the importance of a burial vault, so that they have a better understanding of the product. If they can’t differentiate between concrete boxes and lined, sealed burial vaults then they will be unable to help families choose cremation for the right reasons.

One way that we at Trigard encourage the education of burial vaults is by visiting the future funeral professionals at their local colleges and universities. It is important to help them better understand the product and feel comfortable and passionate about it when they leave school and enter the work place. We currently partner with several schools located in surrounding areas, such as Ivy Tech in Indiana, Carl Sandberg College in northern Illinois, DMACC in Iowa and Mid-America, Jeffersonville, Indiana. By doing this we reach future professionals, some in their second or third careers, and introduce or encourage the burial vault conversation.


I believe that in order to slow down the increase in cremation, we have to keep educating the future members of our industry. I encourage you to get involved with your local colleges and universities and schedule career days or plant visits. The future of the burial vault industry depends on it.


This article originally appeared in Trigard Tuesdays, our weekly electronic newsletter featuring information for the funeral industry. Sign up for your free subscription at http://www.trigard.com/tuesdays.

Friday, February 20, 2015

What can we learn from the big game?

Brodie Krause,
IT Manager
What do you do when faced with a difficult decision? Do you look things over and jump on new opportunities? Or, do you keep your head down and continue to do “what you have always done?”

As a Chicago Bears fan, I didn’t have a whole lot invested in the outcome of the Super Bowl this year (or any year for that matter) but with 20 seconds left, I found myself jumping off the couch in a flourish of nachos and popcorn. For whatever reason, the Seattle Seahawks chose to have quarterback, Russell Wilson, ignore logic and throw the ball on second and goal from the one-yard line. The New England Patriots rookie, Malcom Butler, saw it happen, reached out and snagged himself a piece of football history.

Imagine for a moment that Butler had been a step too slow, or perhaps had seen the opportunity, but chose not to go for it? The news reports would have been quite a bit different. Instead of all this talk about Seattle’s poor play-calling, the media would instead have been lifting the Seahawks coaching staff up as brilliant.

Much can be learned from this situation.  For one, we learn from Seattle to weigh our options carefully, but to take the occasional risk. It may pay off.  From Butler, we learn to be vigilant, to watch for opportunities as they come our way and to spring to action and seize them when they do.


This article originally appeared in Trigard Tuesdays, our weekly electronic newsletter featuring information for the funeral industry. Sign up for your free subscription at http://www.trigard.com/tuesdays.

Friday, February 13, 2015

How are you paying it forward?

Patrick Lewis,
Grounds Manager,
Sunset Memorial Park
Something that I take great pride in is that the families who visit our cemetery know we respect them when they are on our grounds. One of the most important aspects of being a member of the grounds crew of a cemetery is to show respect when someone is visiting or burying a loved one. And, when families visit our cemetery, they know we care because we always turn our machines off while they are on our grounds. It is important to me that families know that we are more than just the grounds crew.

I think this mindset can carry over to everyone within the funeral industry. It is important that families know, no matter who they work with when planning their final wishes or burying a loved one, we care for and respect them.

In today’s world, we have made it difficult to be respectful to others all the time. But, the only way to make a change is by starting small. One small change in how you do things can lead to a greater impact. And, those of us working in the funeral industry have a greater chance than most people to make a change by how we treat the families we serve.

I encourage you to sit back and think about what you are doing to influence others. What small actions can you take to make a greater impact? We can all pay it forward by showing a little respect. The families we serve deserve it.

This article originally appeared in Trigard Tuesdays, our weekly electronic newsletter featuring information for the funeral industry. Sign up for your free subscription at http://www.trigard.com/tuesdays.

Friday, February 6, 2015

What are your best practices?

Ethan Darby,
Director of Business
Development
In the past few months, I have been fortunate enough to have the opportunity to visit a few of our vault dealers. While there are plenty more of you I would still like to visit, including the funeral homes and cemeteries that carry our products. I have already learned so much from those of you who have been gracious enough to open your doors to us. One thing I learned that surprised me was how differently each of you operate -specifically with Trigard’s products.

In the death care industry, I hear a lot of “that’s how we have always done it” types of remarks. While tradition and consistency say a lot about a company, it’s also important that we consider alternative ways of doing things. Each and every one of you is an expert in your field because of training and experience. We all have unique experiences, though, which is why I believe I am noticing so many different methods of operation.

Can you imagine if there was a way to combine all of our experience as a dealer network? Or even as a funeral home or cemetery network? We would know the perfect concrete mixture, the quickest way to assemble an Aegean, the best methods for digging a grave, and the most efficient way to keep a clean funeral home and work space. While we may all believe we are performing at the highest level, I think it is important that we remain open to the possibility that someone out there has come up with a better way of doing things.

I would like to encourage you to ask questions and combine your experiences. If you think you are doing an exceptional job at something, let us know! Whether you are contacting Trigard or one of the other dealers in our network, we need to communicate our best practices. As individual dealers, funeral homes and cemeteries, we can only experience so much, but if we combine our experiences that truly makes us Trigard strong.


This article originally appeared in Trigard Tuesdays, our weekly electronic newsletter featuring information for the funeral industry. Sign up for your free subscription at http://www.trigard.com/tuesdays.