Inman Shipping Worldwide is blazing a trail in the funeral industry with an innovative approach to shipping human remains. This approach is grounded in strong standards and the adoption of leading edge technology, online interactivity, and more versatile product options. Inman President and CEO, David McComb is a funeral director licensed in Indiana and Ohio who has spearheaded this approach and believes in the importance of harnessing new technologies and processes to allow funeral directors to better serve those in their care. Inman’s goal “is to efficiently and effectively provide funeral directors the information they need for the shipment of human remains. The quicker we can get them back to serving their families, the better.” To this end, Inman is “constantly reviewing and enhancing our processes to better meet the needs of the death care industry.” With positive experiences comes relationships, and this is a relationship business.
This type of care is something that McComb is intimately familiar with. An entrepreneur and innovator in the funeral industry, McComb became a licensed funeral director in 1986 to continue the family business. In preparation, McComb earned a Bachelor of Arts in Business from Indiana University and an Associates of Arts in Mortuary Science from Mid America College of Funeral Service. As the fourth- generation owner of D.O. McComb & Sons Funeral Homes, McComb developed a unique sense of the needs of the death care professional and earned the respect of both the local community and the funeral industry at large. While McComb served as owner, D.O. McComb & Sons Funeral Homes grew to be the largest funeral home in the state of Indiana and the name McComb was synonymous with integrity.
During this time, McComb expanded his focus to encompass a wider range of funeral service offerings including pet services and cremation, monument services, cemetery management, estate security, and online floral and memorial card services. McComb discovered firsthand how mobile our society had become and how commonplace it was for family members to live in far-flung locales. When McComb first started, it was not uncommon for several generations of families to be born, live their entire lives, and then die in the same hometown. However, this trend has changed, and many people are now moving away from their birthplace for cultural, education, employment, environmental, or retirement opportunities. Gathering families together at the death of a loved one has become much more of a logistical challenge and McComb has explored ways to make this process easier and less stressful for those involved. These experiences taught McComb the value of visionary and forward thinking in the funeral industry and the importance of value-driven execution.
In 2014, McComb recognized an opportunity to help the funeral community through the acquisition of Inman. Inman is the original nationwide funeral shipping service and has served the funeral profession since 1978. Inman’s founder, Robert J. Inman, literally started this industry and pioneered new advances in the area of funeral shipping setting many of today’s standards. While focused on domestic needs, Inman’s reach has expanded internationally and regularly helps funeral directors from around the world. Through Inman, McComb was able to expand his focus beyond the Midwest and bring his expertise to the funeral industry at a national level.
As a funeral director himself, McComb is better able to understand the needs of funeral directors and he has shaped Inman’s services to meet those needs. McComb believes that “if you have never served a family in an arrangement conference there is no way to truly understand the dynamics they face.” The combination of this understanding with McComb’s focus on innovation is the foundation that allows McComb and Inman to excel in funeral shipping.
While many aspects of the funeral industry today are quickly changing, the underlying focus on the family is still the most important element. To this end, Inman has a dedicated network of agents to provide funeral professionals and families with the attention that they need. With over 450 agents in a growing and diverse network, maintaining standards is a priority. Starting with the foundation that Robert Inman developed, McComb brought in industry expert Vernie Fountain to work with McComb and NFDA legal counsel Scott Gilligan on updating Inman’s rigorous standards to meet the needs of today. These updated standards are what Inman agents adhere to and they provide a solid foundation for the relationship of trust that develops between Inman agents, funeral professionals, and families. “When a family makes a choice to have a deceased loved one transported home for ceremony, it says a million words to me,” McComb said. “It speaks to the depth of the relationship, and it also speaks to the obligation of the funeral director to make sure everything goes perfectly.” Inman’s strong standards ensure that the funeral director is able to meet this obligation as smoothly as possible.
As an entrepreneur, McComb is constantly looking for new opportunities to serve the evolving wants and needs of funeral industry professionals and the families they serve. This focus has driven Inman’s adoption of leading edge technology, online interactivity, and more versatile product options. Inman has created its own proprietary Customer Relationship Management software called Premier Dispatch. Premier Dispatch was designed to expedite the entire shipping process by automatically generating the packet of required documents that funeral directors need. Inman has been developing this software in-house for the past few years and McComb has tailored it to meet the needs of the funeral professional.
Inman has also been updating their online offerings to further meet the needs of the funeral industry. These offerings include online First Call and Quote forms. Both efficiently provide quality service to funeral professionals allowing them to spend more time with the families they serve. Visit www.shipinman.com to complete a form or leave your feedback.
Many of Inman’s versatile product options have been developed to help funeral professionals keep pace with changing trends in family dynamics. Generally, no matter where a loved one is at the time of death, the family desires to bring them home. To assist with this, one of Inman’s most popular offerings is the Travel Plan by Inman. The Travel Plan utilizes a one-time fee to allow for the return home of a loved one if they die more than 100 miles away. Benefits of this option include peace of mind for family members as well as an additional avenue for funeral directors to connect with a family during pre-arrangement planning. On the back-end, the Travel Plan is a commissionable product that provides additional revenue for funeral professionals to offset rising cremations and declining funeral values. The Travel Plan is seamlessly integrated with Inman’s agent network and is so efficient and successful that other funeral travel plans contact Inman for their fulfillment.
Under McComb, Inman has reaffirmed its place as the nation’s premier funeral shipping company and its ongoing relationships demonstrate this. As expressed by Bill McReavy of Washburn McReavy Funeral Homes, “at Washburn-McReavy, we use Inman exclusively and have found extraordinary customer service and great response in serving our client families through the U.S. and worldwide.” Despite his role at Inman, McComb considers himself a funeral director first and foremost. “I understand this business from the funeral director’s perspective. I believe that makes the difference. I understand the sensitivities.” This mentality has directly led to McComb’s success as an entrepreneur in the industry and guarantees that the family’s needs always come first. This drive is what keeps McComb always looking for opportunities to continue his work helping people and families. FBA
For more information on Inman Shipping Worldwide or the Travel Plan by Inman visit www.shipinman.com or
call (800) 321-0566.