Would you be surprised to learn that as much as 50 percent of a funeral director’s time is spent on clerical and administrative tasks? This figure was shared with us by Alan Creedy, a premier thought leader and expert when it comes to the critical needs of the funeral profession. Creedy has been active in the funeral service community for more than 35 years.
You probably aren’t surprised as you probably feel it each day. That’s a lot of time spent on non-productive activities. So, we were curious how people would spend their time differently if they weren’t spending it on clerical and administrative tasks. We asked 5 funeral professionals and their answers probably won’t surprise you. In fact, they might be the same answer you’d have.
Expand Facilities & Services for Families
“I would be spending more time working on making additions and developments to our ‘Famous Endings museum.’ The routine tasks take a great deal of time away from new ideas and areas of development that can improve and expand upon new services created for our families, as well as utilizing and implementing new social media additions and expansions to our business.
There are only so many hours in the day and when we spend them on everyday tasks it takes away from spending the time on new areas that would benefit our families and our business.” -John Herzig, President and Owner of Toland-Herzig Funeral Homes & Crematory Inc.
Speak About the Benefits of Preplanning
“…I hate how much time [admin/clerical tasks] take up. I try to delegate as much as possible to my admin assistant. We are converting to a paperless process for the funeral arrangements, meaning we don’t duplicate inputting information. I also delegated the funeral arranging and directing to my staff, leaving me room to concentrate on the financials and strategy.
In my perfect world, I’d be out speaking several times a week on the benefits of funeral preplanning. My goal is for everyone to plan his/her funeral with as much thought and detail they put into other rite-of-passage events, e.g., weddings, baptisms, graduations, etc.” -Sarah E. Lee, Owner of Lee-Ellena Funeral Home
Get More Personalized
“If I had more time to devote to the ‘funeral director’ aspect of my job, I would love to come up with and implement new ways to personalize funerals. The past year I was able to attend the NFDA Arranger Training, and I have to say, Lacy Robinson really gave exceptional advice and ideas on how to better connect with and serve families. The only thing is all of that takes time and energy.
I would love to be able to really sit down and devote much more time to these families to make their funeral arrangements something special to them. To be able to get away from the cookie-cutter funerals and really go above and beyond to make such a difficult time a little easier would be amazing, for both my personal work goals and the families themselves.” –Lauren LeRoy of Daniel R. Smolarek Funeral Home; blogger – Little Miss Funeral
Connect with the Community
“I am not sure why this stat is happening. In today’s world of computers and funeral specific software that auto-populates other fields on other forms at the click of a button, the funeral directors time on such clerical should be reduced.
Work smarter not harder is a common phrase around the Distinctive Life facilities. We have a paperless system that allows all of us to be in the same page in real time. The traditional white-board has been replaced with a Trello screen. The use of industry specific ware allows for input once and communication between the Funeral Director, the support staff and the Homes Care Center is instant.
By making proper use of the software we are able to allow our Funeral Directors to be Funeral Professionals in the community. They are not tied to the desk or even the location, they are free to attend different functions, volunteer for a charity and most importantly serve families wherever the family wishes. – Jeff Friedman of Distinctive Life Cremations & Funerals; blogger – Distinctive Life Guy
Create More Compelling Content to Educate Families
“With more free time, I’d be able to focus on generating more compelling content about preparing for end-of-life issues: create more online videos and radio interviews, write more articles and longer blog posts, and prepare a second edition of A Good Goodbye: Funeral Planning for Those Who Don’t Plan to Die. Setting priorities is a big part of making everything happen!” – Gail Rubin, CT, The Doyenne of Death®, Certified Thanatologist and Celebrant
Spend More Time Listening to Families’ Needs
“While I am not a licensed funeral director, I can speak from the perspective of a small business owner. If you allow it to happen, time is quickly eaten up by putting out fires and solving issues that others within your organization cannot handle. If putting out fires constitutes the majority of your day, then it’s time to take one step back in order to take two steps forward. I quickly refocus my efforts to (re)train staff to be able to take on more responsibility in handling these issues.
This will ultimately allow me to have the free time to do the things I am supposed to be doing like spearheading new initiatives, meeting with customers to hear their needs, networking within the industry, etc. This helps the business avoid becoming stagnant, and keeps it steadily moving in a forward direction.” Danielle Thacker of Thacker Caskets; blogger – The Funeral Gal
One thing seems evident: if you’re like these funeral professionals, if you had more time in your day, you’d focus on putting families first and doing tasks and activities that help you strengthen your business. FBA
Scott Mindrum is the founder, president and CEO of CRäKN, software that helps funeral directors put time back into their day. CRaKN is an integrated platform that allows your staff to collaborate and automate workflow increasing productivity and efficiency in your business. For more than 22 years, Scott has been a trusted leader in the death-care industry, building value through customer-centric problem solving. Previously, he was the founder, president and CEO of MeM (Making Everlasting Memories), a cloud-based publishing company dedicated to capturing and preserving life memories. Scott has over a dozen issued and pending patents, is a CPA, earned his M.B.A. from the University of Notre Dame and is a Member of the Queen City Angels. He can be reached at 844-382-7256 or by email at [email protected]