We explore why accurate cemetery maps and burial records are important for Local Authorities from the perspective of those who gain value from them.
Fully Integrated Software & Mapping: What it is & Why it's Vital to Cemeteries
In recent years, leading cemeteries over the world have started undergoing transformation projects that often include a significant shift towards a digitally led operation. Over the past two decades that has tended to mean the introduction of things like the use of Microsoft Excel, a software package for finance, a software package for records, CAD drawings for maps or stand alone digital maps for instance.
Many of those tools are still in operation today and while they’re in a sense often perfectly functional, they still leave many cemeterians wading through multiple sources of information, or double or triple entering data, or reconciling various reports, or dealing with numerous vendors and potentially be paying twice for functions that feature in 2 or more of their tools.
The cost of managing disjointed systems in cash, time and energy is enormous.
There has to be a better way.
And now there is…PlotBox is the technological leader delivering the next generation of cemetery management software.
Tell me more.
PlotBox is a cloud-based death care management solution that facilitates cemeteries in operating to world-class standards.
Quite simply, we believe it's unique and significantly superior because unlike all other tools on the market, it's the world's first solution to fully integrate 2 previously separate functions - software and mapping.
Why's this so important?
Well imagine if Google Maps just had property addresses with no locations attached...we'd have to go back to the good old days of paper maps which would take us much longer to plan a journey and find our destination, right?
In the world of cemeteries, the plot number is the address and quite often cemeteries have the address of the plot - they know who’s buried in the plot and who owns the plot, but they don’t have a user-friendly way of finding out exactly where the true location of that plot is.
Between cemeteries and PlotBox, together we’re solving problems like never before by bringing all data into one accessible location. That's an enormously empowering shift for every team and individual across the whole cemetery operation - Management, Finance, Family Service, Grounds Crews and their Boards, all benefit.
The number and scope of problems this innovation solves, revolutionizes the way death care facilities both operate and grow...and we believe it will change the landscape of cemetery management forever. It’s quite literally transforming operations.
But what if you don’t need the full suite of functionality? Helpfully, there's something for everyone...should you not have a requirement for mapping for instance and you only need software, we’ve got you covered, and vice versa.
We’ll get back to that later, but first let’s take a close look at 7 of our key modules and beneficiaries in your team:
#1 Contracts module...gives Family Service Counsellors more time with their families!
With staff not seeing the status of a plot in real-time, this can result in mistakes or added time spent verifying available space. What’s more, paper contract writing tends to require a lot of duplication which is more prone to human error.
By using PlotBox, our customers can view the location and status of all their inventory in real-time at the tap of a button, whether they’re in the office, in the cemetery grounds or out in the community selling. That information is also pinned to a high resolution drone image which helps the buyer visualize what it is exactly they’re buying - all on the screen of your desktop, tablet or smartphone.
So spend less time processing contracts and writing burial tags, and more time with families!
#2 Records module...for almost every single employee in the cemetery!
This ‘core’ module of PlotBox is a huge time saver and pain reliever for many working within a cemetery. Imagine for a moment one place to keep ALL your records, all related to a plot that you can view on a screen and all intuitively linked to each other.
With one click you’re able to see who owns a plot, who’s interred in the plot, remaining space and much much more. For the first time, all of your information is truly accessible in ONE place (yes...even digital copies of all your existing paper records and maps!).
#3 Finance module...giving the team that ensure our financial health, a reliable monthly close process!
Because you are, we’re big on finance. This module is designed to assist finance professionals in reporting accurately and reducing the complexity of financial processes.
We can help you:
- Close the previous month off quicker, by producing accurate monthly reports in less time; and seamlessly push this information to your Accounting package such as Sage or Quickbooks for example.
- Effectively navigate audits by having all your information in one robust system
- Ensure that your Family Service Counsellors don’t over or under charge and only offer payment plans that you’ve approved!
Our finance reports include: Accounts Receivable, General Ledger report, detailed sales reporting, counsellor sales comparison reports, inventory reports, trust/fund activity report, liability report and commissions reporting.
#4 Customer Relationship Management (CRM) - empower your team to sell more and monitor their progress!
The PlotBox CRM assists with the management of leads, sales, productivity and more!
We provide a searchable database to store a lead's contact information and easily visualize your entire sales pipeline. Sales team processes can be standardized as progression of tasks can be easily tracked on the schedule where they can be updated and completed.
Reports can be produced in real-time including your revenue growth and sales team activity. Friendly competition can be created by displaying leaderboards of sales team activity levels and forecasted sales.
And a bonus for your Family Service Counsellors - never worry about competing over leads with colleagues again. This tool records whose leads are whose and gives account of the actual interactions your lead has had with your cemetery.
#5 Work Orders - for effective communication across teams with real-time job status visibility
Cemeteries can keep an electronic history of every work order within PlotBox. No more worries over losing a work order through miscommunication, human error or misplacing paper! A live status or work orders can be viewed with recorded due dates and times, ensuring deadlines aren't missed.
Work orders can be assigned to colleagues via email or text notifications and users can pick up and track work orders themselves. Tasks can be completed on an iPad and images of completed work can be uploaded. Then for future works...quantify the time needed based on actual time frames for each task to organize and schedule work efficiently.
#6 Inventory Management/Mapping Audit - assist sales and reporting
Say goodbye to old, inaccurate or disjointed cemetery or mausoleum maps. Our cemetery mapping technology is the fastest and best in the world. It allows you to interactively link your records to your maps, accurately! Report on inventory status, availability, plot stock and capacity.
The mapping process we go through is an audit of your inventory through which you can link your database records to the accurate GPS locations of the spaces within the cemetery, identify errors or issues in your map locations or your data and often, even identify available space that you didn’t know you had!
Mapping with PlotBox isn’t ‘one size fits all’, it has many options and is completely tailored to your needs, and as such can be scaled up or down as you wish. We can upload your existing paper or CAD maps with the platform and allow you to layer these over a high-resolution drone image created by PlotBox or a lower quality satellite image should you choose. There are many options to suit your needs and budget!
#7 Public Website - Everafter (www.discovereverafter.com)
On the other side of PlotBox we have our very own public website which is a strong revenue generator for our cemetery customers.
Families and members of the public can search the records & maps via Everafter, a website designed not only to show a deceased name and date-of-death, but to show a picture of their memorial, photographs and videos to tell their story and preserve their legacy.
Visitors to your cemetery can use our ‘Walk to Grave’ feature on their smartphone to find the grave of their loved one. Online users and visitors will also be able to order flowers and other services direct to your cemetery and exact grave location! They can also access information about available inventory near the location of their loved ones.
We’re passionate about the opportunity that the integration of software and mapping offers cemeteries, we believe it’s a key enabler of world-class operating standards.
Want to see it in action and learn more?
If you enjoyed this article and would like to learn more, check out this webinar recording:
In this webinar you'll hear from David Massey from Park View Cemetery, CA. David was early to recognize the opportunity and has now been using PlotBox for over 2 years. Our Founders, Sean and Leona discuss with David what this has meant for his business in the real world.