EFFICIENCY AND PRODUCTIVITY
We pick up our series of articles on technology being your greatest untapped resource with our latest article focusing on the efficiency and productivity of your firms operations.
As business owners and employees we all understand that there are multiple tools, software and resources for us to leverage in order to become more efficient. With these technological tools, you need to ensure that you are using them the way that they are intended on being used. Unfortunately, we cannot just buy a piece of software and assume that everything will fall into place. We buy a car for convenience as it allows us to get from point “A” to “B” quickly and easily – we can all agree this is faster than walking or running. However, we still have to ensure the car is tuned up and there is gas in the tank, and then ultimately we have to drive the car. As you can see, it takes time and energy to use a car but we are going to get to our final destination much faster. Technology is no different and we must devote some time to ensure we get the maximum benefits.
Let’s start from the beginning with a very common buzzword that is out there today. The word is “workflow” and by definition it means:
“The sequence of industrial, administrative, or other processes through which a piece of work passes from initiation to completion.”
As someone that is either using technology today or even just looking to see what is out there, you need to determine what you are looking to get out of your investment. Technology for the funeral profession can yield many different results but they must be in line with what you’re trying to achieve. Technology can reduce staff time on monotonous office tasks, streamline forms and contracts, create online obituaries, generate new revenue and so much more. When trying to figure out where technology can help you it is best to ask yourself some of these questions:
What administrative processes are causing the most time for your firm to complete?
Are there any bottlenecks that can be avoided?
Do you find yourself entering in redundant data?
Do you use multiple technologies that aren’t integrated?
In theory, if you have the right technology partner you should be able to do the following:
Input from a PC, laptop, tablet or even mobile phone vital statistics of the deceased, which will auto-populate all of the forms that you need such as the Death Certificate, Social Security form, and VA forms – some States even allow you to submit the death certificate electronically from your management software. From there, you can then select all the products and services from the General Price List in your system that the family is selecting, and after they have made the selections you can print a contract and invoices for the family. All this integrates with your accounting system to ensure that you don’t have to go make those entries again which eliminates the possibility of human error. You can then create all of your personalized products from register books and prayer cards to personalized candles and memorial videos. Your software can then automatically upload all the deceased information and obituary to your website with the click of a button – all this after only entering the information once.
After doing your due diligence and selecting the right provider for your business, you must now inspect what you expect. What I mean by this is that you want your staff utilizing the technology you just invested in, so you must follow up to ensure they know what they are doing. Did the staff get all the training they need? Does the technology do what you were told it would? Are you making sure that you are staying up with all the latest updates from your technology partner?
In conclusion you can see that technology is a tool that when used properly can create convenience and efficiencies – however, it does require a bit of effort our part. Just like a car will get you from point “A” to “B” faster, so too will technology. If you have answered yes to any of these questions listed above or are unsure whether you are using the right software for your business needs, then it is time to pick up the phone. The funeral profession has several providers to select from that all have world class software.
Identifying your workflow is the best way to ensure your firm is operating at its peak efficiency. This is best way to ensure your business is the most productive it can be, which at the end of the day will maximize the profits and maybe even find you some time to take that much needed vacation! FBA
Jon Clare is CEO of FuneralTech (formally Twin Tiers Technology). He graduated from Western University in 2005 with his Bachelor of Business Administration. Throughout his career he has always displayed a passion for technology. He became CEO for FuneralTech in May of 2013. For more information, contact Jon at 800.480.6467, ext 102, or by email at [email protected], or visit www.funeraltech.com.