Helping Deathcare During COVID-19
14 April 2020
Our customers can sometimes be a forgotten frontline. Cemeteries and Crematoria are already dealing with or preparing for the impacts of an increased death rate due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A harsh reality.
In the space of three weeks, we have responded during these challenging times by:
- Developing two new standalone solutions that take a day forward approach, meaning both are quick and easy to implement and importantly, the Remote Booking Management solution will allow our customers to operate whilst observing social distancing and discharging their duty of care to their own staff. We’re working with cemeteries internationally to help them figure out ways to recover revenue whilst still providing this critical service which will be assisted by the Remote Sales Management solution.
- Promoting togetherness whilst apart. We've launched our PlotBox community PlotBox Connect to bring our own users together so that they, too, can benefit from the strong relationships we've built. The community provides a forum for customers to empathise with each other, and share ideas on how to cope with new guidelines in place across the industry.
- Facilitating webinars and curated relevant content to help our customers navigate and implement new guidelines and government advice which is being released weekly. Due to demand, these webinars will now be a weekly event to support shared learning amongst front-line cemetery and crematoria operators internationally, register for invitations to these events and more here. Attendees from across the world have told us of the value these shared learning forums are bringing to themselves and their organisations as they hear how others are navigating the challenges in dealing with the pandemic.
- Switching on additional functionality for many of our customers that allows them to engage with Funeral Directors online to enable social distancing and that has been a real lifeline.
- Supplying extra user licences where needed to cope with increased users who are working remotely.
- Providing urgent online mapping work and surveys for customers so they can better see what capacity they have in their cemeteries to prepare for increased demand for burials.
At PlotBox we’re fortunate in that we are geared towards working remotely. We have the infrastructure, culture, staff and tools in place to enable us to do our jobs, communicate with each other and serve our customers, all whilst working remotely. This, undoubtedly, puts us in a strong position to withstand external forces so it was an easy decision for us to go fully remote across all our locations four weeks ago and it's something for which our employees have been extremely grateful. I've been impressed at how quickly we've all adapted to what is becoming the new normal.
But we aren't just steaming ahead, business as usual, because we realise that it isn't business as usual for our customers.
We've been closely monitoring the developments in the UK, Ireland, Australia and the U.S. where many of our customers are based. Our customers in the death care industry are, sadly, bracing themselves for increased demand for their services in the weeks and months ahead and just as it remains their priority to serve bereaved families in their communities, it remains a priority for us to serve them.
We've always had a great relationship with our customers so it was no surprise when many of them, at the most testing of times, reached out to us. They trust us, they trust our product and they trust that we will tackle their problems head-on.
Social distancing and safeguarding employees' health is key for our customers but, unlike us, working remotely isn't the norm for them. The very fact that we're a cloud-based solution has enabled working which has meant minimal disruption to their operations.
Our own team has worked so hard, despite facing their own challenges, many of them now balancing work and caring responsibilities, and have made me immensely proud. Their creativity, collaboration and genuine desire to pull together as a team have been so powerful and there is still much more to come. Tenacity is one of our core values and I've witnessed it in abundance.
We are doing what we can to ensure our staff has the support they need to adjust to their new ways of life. We are totally flexible in terms of working hours, so staff don't feel that they have to cram everything in between 9 and 5. Even with fragmented hours, we are all focused on ensuring work and service levels don't suffer.
We have also rolled out access to a full suite of online learning so that staff can use their commute time to engage in learning new skills, work-related otherwise. Many of our staff have told us they will be putting some of their newfound 'free' time to good use by achieving relevant certifications or upskilling in a new discipline which will be most useful to the business going forward.
Our core values, tenacity, teamwork and trust have proven to be guiding principles for our response to this crisis. I've been so heartened by the way our staff, our customers and our communities have genuinely pulled together.
To all doctors, nurses and health and social care professionals and any front line workers who are keeping our countries going, we at PlotBox salute you and thank you. Your courage has taught us all something.
To our customers, our hearts go out to you, your staff and their loved ones as you face unthinkable challenges ahead. If there is anything we can do to make your lives easier get in touch and we will do everything we can to help.
PlotBox Announce Opening of New Office in Sydney, Australia
This news comes in the wake of Rookwood General Cemeteries in Australia announcing that they’ve partnered with PlotBox to enable the transformation of the cemetery operation and mapping. Describing it as ‘Google maps for the dead’, Rookwood Cemetery have said the PlotBox software will allow the public to search the one million interments in their cemetery and follow a live GPS tracker on a smartphone before locating the exact grave.
Commenting on PlotBox’s Rookwood partnership, George Simpson, CEO Rookwood Cemetery said,
"We're the first people in Australia to have the software installed and to go live with it. So I guess we will be the prototype for Australia."
Sean McAllister, CEO PlotBox said:
“Building a local presence in Australia will support our plans to build on the success of the PlotBox/Rookwood partnership and help enable other cemeteries across Australia and New Zealand.”
Headquartered in Ireland and with offices also throughout the United States, PlotBox is the leading cloud-based death care management solution that facilitates cemeteries in operating to world-class standards.
PlotBox Implement Digital Transformation and Mapping of Largest Cemetery in Southern Hemisphere
With a total of over 900,000 interments and cremations at Rookwood and covering an expanse of over 780 acres (roughly the size of Sydney’s Central Business District), Rookwood Cemetery is the oldest, largest and most multicultural working cemetery in Australia. Rookwood’s grounds tell the story of Sydney’s history and cultural diversity, with more 130 culturally specific and non-denominational lawns. It’s also the largest graveyard in the southern hemisphere!
Headquartered in Ireland and with offices throughout the United States, PlotBox is the leading cloud-based death care management solution that facilitates cemeteries in operating to world-class standards.
Today Rookwood Cemetery is at the forefront of the revolution that is seeing many of the world's most progressive and ambitious cemeteries modernise operations from the inside out. Multiple software solutions and data sources will be streamlined into the single comprehensive PlotBox platform, where for the first time, all cemetery operations will be led.
Amongst others, records, memorial management, scheduling, CRM, and host of advanced finance tools will all run from a single application accessible from any device anywhere in the world. What's more, PlotBox’s full integration between software and mapping links all records, financial transactions and communications with families to a verified plot location, enabling users to find, access and report on information in time frames that were simply impossible pre-implementation.
George Simpson, CEO at Rookwood Cemetery comments,
“We’re really pleased with the system as it stands now! We’ve already migrated 2.8 million records to the new system, and have mapped out 80% of the cemetery with drones.”
Sean McAllister, CEO PlotBox commented,
"Rookwood General Cemetery are the first cemetery to implement the PlotBox solution in Australia which marks the start of a revolution in cemetery mapping and software in the country!
Our goal is to enable our customers and their families to have instant access to data they can trust, from wherever they are and are looking forward to seeing those benefits being realised in the months ahead"
Rookwood Cemetery and PlotBox have recently completed the implementation process, and Rookwood can look forward to more efficient operations and ultimately to even further realise their commitment to maintaining the highest standards in dealing with their families and the community.
PlotBox Unveils Integration with Music and Media Services
PlotBox, a manufacturer of world-leading cemetery management software, has unveiled their new software integration with two music and media services, Wesley Media and Obitus.
Developed for UK customers, this new software integration offers a smoother way to help funeral providers cut down duplication of work, reduce errors and most importantly provide a better service for bereaved families, taking away some of the pain at an already difficult time.
Scott Warner; Music and Visual Services Manager at Wesley, who worked with the PlotBox team to see the integration program through to completion, commented,
“This was a great joint effort, and really strong collaboration to get this accomplished in an amazingly short period of time. We are delighted that the first site to benefit from these outstanding efforts will be the newly won tender contract for both companies at Falkirk Crematorium.”
James Crossland of Obitus said,
“We’re always looking for ways to make life easier for our customers, so integrating with management systems like PlotBox is a natural step for us.”
With the help of PlotBox, funeral providers can fully integrate their music and media systems so that they never have the need to duplicate music or media information. After selecting their music provider of choice in PlotBox, it will automatically create the event in Wesley or Obitus for them. After the music has been added to the event in Wesley or Obitus, it will then automatically appear in PlotBox ready to be printed onto their paperwork.
For existing customers, these integrations are now live and available in the next update of PlotBox. For organisations who want to know more about switching to PlotBox, find out more about pricing and packages at PlotBox.io.
PlotBox are delighted to welcome Rick Dagenais to the team as VP of Sales N. America, an Executive role based out of PlotBox's Boston location.
PlotBox Opens 3rd Office in the US
11 August 2018
It’s been a busy few months here at PlotBox and we are pleased to let you know that in July this year we opened our third office in the US, our new base in Austin, TX. Following the opening of our Boston office earlier this year we are delighted to be growing and expanding our presence across the United States, and our three US locations give us an ideal geographical spread to serve our customers from.
Our CEO, Sean McAllister said “We're delighted to be seeing the business go from strength to strength and demand for our solution grow so quickly. A base in Austin is the natural next step for us...we’ve had great success in bringing our vision of cemetery management to some fantastic industry leaders so far. We now want to accelerate that growth by adding another important location to compliment the east and west bases with additional roles focused on customer support to help realise our vision!”
In the Press...
13 May 2019
Cemetery Software Firm PlotBox Approach $5m US In Investment
Catholic Cemetery Conference - Convention Issue
PlotBox Opens Third Office in the US - Hard copy only
26 March 2018
Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce & Industry - News
A Royal Celebration of Innovation and Entrepreneurship
21 March 2018
Northern Regional College
Astrazeneca Student of the Year Awards
20 March 2018
Business First Online
Is Northern Ireland a Hub of Creativity?
06 March 2018
Article re: Invent: The Search is on for NI’s Greatest Innovations
08 November 2017
Summer Internship Lands Jobs for Northern Regional Students
26 January 2016
The Irish Times
Cemetery Software Firm PlotBox Wins 10 US Contracts
26 January 2016
The Irish News
PlotBox Secures More Than 10 Contracts in States.
13 October 2015
The Irish Times
‘Google Maps for Cemeteries’ Wins Top NI Award.
05 August 2015
Plotbox: A Digital Platform that Makes Life Easier for Those Dealing with Death http://connect.catalyst-inc.org/techwatch/plotbox-a-digital-platform-that-makes-life-easier-for-those-dealing-with-death/
17 June 2015
New Software Preserves the Past for a New Generation
05 February 2015
Robotics Business Review
Meet PlotBox the Cemetery Drone that Maps Your Grave
04 February 2015
Silicon Valley Business Journal
5 Faves and 4 Things to Know from 500 Startups Demo Day
04 February 2015
Cemetery Drones and On-Demand Cookies: Meet 500 Startups’ New Batch
03 February 2015
Venture Beat (VB)
This 500 Startups-backed Company uses Drones to Map Cemeteries
Annual Report 2014
Business Connections Events
22 December 2014
Rise of the Drone Mapper
05 October 2014
Portglenone Couple’s ‘Google Maps for Cemeteries’
03 October 2014
Plotbox Mapping Out Road to Success with Business Gong
21 February 2014
Plotbox Announced as INVENT 2014 Winner!