Friday, October 30, 2015

Life celebrations are back, back again.

Karen Darby-Ritz,
Advanced Planning Manager,
Camino del Sol Funeral
Chapel and Cremation Center
Recently, a lot of funeral publications have been talking about life celebrations being a big part of our industry again, and I am stoked. Families are once again seeing the value in celebrating their loved ones’ lives.

Didn’t George Santayana say, “Those who do not remember the past are doomed to repeat it?” Maybe, it is because those who remember how beneficial a life celebration was to the grieving process are starting to preplan their own final wishes. Maybe our society is learning about healthy healing. We have the tragedies, place them behind us and move on to a new day. A day that recognizes the joy alongside the sorrow at a life celebration. A day that recognizes the support given to family members by those who attend the celebration.

In my years of preplanning final wishes for families, I have educated hundreds of people about healthy healing and informed them that their wishes are only limited by their imaginations. Because, as funeral professionals, it is our job to make sure families honor their loved ones appropriately. We make their wishes come to life.

If we give each family we meet their understanding of a life celebration and bring their vision to life, then we will be successful. We will beat anything that stands in our way.

If you would like some suggestions, please email me at karenr@caminodelsol.com. We’d love to share our successes with you.


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.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Are you planning for your education?

Blake Swinford,
Project Manager
Can you believe it is already the end of October? Where has this past year gone? The days keep flying by and before you know it, we will be ringing in the new year.

Have you thought about your goals for next year? If so, is one of them to start educating your staff and your customers better throughout the year? If it isn't, then it should be. Before we become overwhelmed with the holiday season, I encourage you to start planning your educational goals for next year now.

At Trigard, we offer an educational program called Trigard University. It includes an agenda committed to helping vault dealers and their funeral home customers by giving them tools to succeed in today’s competitive environment. In just a few days at Trigard University, you can learn new ways to make a positive impact on your business that could last for years.

The curriculum is tailored to your specific needs, which can include:
  • The story of Trigard and how passion drives everything we do
  • Proven tools to help you increase your average vault sale
  • An in-depth tour of our manufacturing facility
  • A tour of one of our many funeral homes – where we test our own products
  • A sit down with our pre-need manager on how to grow your program
Are you a vault dealer? Are you making end of year visits to your customers to deliver holiday gifts? Make a point to invite your funeral home customers to Trigard University.

Are you a funeral home or cemetery? Do you want to see Trigard in action? Are you interested in how our vault liners are made? Or need some marketing help? Call your vault dealer and ask for more information on attending Trigard University. You won’t regret 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, October 9, 2015

What makes you most proud?

Patrick Lewis,
Sunset Memorial Park,
Grounds Manager
When visiting a cemetery, many families assume their funeral director or someone from the cemetery sales staff will be the ones to help them around the grounds. But, more often than not, when a family needs to find their loved one in the cemetery or needs help with the vase in their memorial at Sunset Memorial Park, my team and I are the ones who help them.

As  Grounds Manager, I don’t always get a lot of face time with the families we serve because the grounds crew and I usually work “behind the scenes.” A typical day for us is spent mowing, tending to our memorials or doing something else in the park. While working, we have encountered a number of first-time visitors. Some have just lost their loved ones and some are just coming to terms with the loss. They finally feel comfortable enough to visit their loved one's resting place. And, my crew and I are there to help them locate their loved one and continue the healing process.

If I have learned one thing over the years, it is that all people grieve differently. And, it is our job as funeral and memorialization professionals to guide them and help them through their journey. Even though I don’t always see the families we serve, I care about them and want to help them when I can. So, when they need me, I will be there to help them.

I am proud to work “behind the scenes.” What are you most proud of?

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, October 2, 2015

Are you writing this down?

Ethan Darby,
Director of Business
Development
When you are standing in your manufacturing plant, how often does someone come up with a brilliant idea? I can't tell you how many times a week it happens at our plant. We are constantly hearing remarks, such as "You know, I'm sure we would be much more efficient if we moved those two stations closer together," or "What if we invoiced our customers through email instead of post mail?" Everyone looks at each other and nods their heads, and then what happens? Nothing.

Why is that?

Every company has problems, and I truly believe they can often be solved by a simple process change. The good thing is you and your employees know how to solve the problems. The bad thing is no one is implementing them. So, if we have the answers, why are we battling the same problems for months and even years at a time when we have the solution right in front of us? The answer is organization and planning. And, I have a simple solution for you, write it down. The next time someone in your company has a brilliant idea, write it down and save it somewhere. I suggest a document on a computer that can be easily accessed.

It does take time and energy to implement a solution. So, you have to carefully choose a problem to solve when the time is right. If you notice things have slowed down a bit, refer to your to-do list and see what the most feasible change you can make at that time is. I suggest sorting the to-do list into sections, such as high effort/high impact or low effort/high impact. This will help you prioritize and decide which problem to tackle first.

Our day-to-day routines are easy. Change is hard. But, organization and prioritization can help you see what is up ahead, as well as what has worked in the past. I encourage you to start a to-do list and see where it takes you.



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.