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Lest You Misunderstand

no casket

politically incorrect photo

Last week’s post was about casket discounting. I just want to make myself clear.

I still meet people who believe their salvation is in the selection room. They even have incorporated their arrangement rooms inside their showrooms. (What kind of message does that send??)

What I want my readers to know is that I resent the game playing on any one’s part. But I also do not believe a merchandise manufacturer (whether urn or casket or vault) can have an answer for us.

If there is an answer it lies in the proper execution of a life honoring service tailored to the individual and their circle of relationships.

Preoccupation with casket pricing and casket merchandising is a distraction of the greatest magnitude in our times.

Oh, and I am flat against letting your vendors have long term contracts. Our world is too fluid for that and, besides, I can see how it is to their advantage but not yours. I guess I might change my mind if, instead of giving you a “free” showroom, they helped you get rid of your showroom and maybe gave you a “free” out door party patio to showcase your celebrations.

By |2018-01-25T20:05:45-04:00June 29th, 2015|Blog, Money: Getting it and Keeping it, The Creedy Commentary|5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Jim McGilley June 29, 2015 at 10:41 am - Reply

    Alan- I couldn’t agree with you more. Your statement “If there is an answer it lies in the proper execution of a life honoring service tailored to the individual and their circle of relationships” rings so true. I have found the energy put into that coupled with open discussions about their loved ones life, especially those very special moments that occurred over a lifetime, becomes the trail head for the next several days journey. Know that by focusing your energies in that direction will turn even an immediate disposal into a very meaningful experience for your families and generate the income one needs to run a profitable business.
    Cheers Jim McGilley

  2. Tony Colson June 29, 2015 at 10:53 am - Reply

    I agree with much of what you said, in that having a selection room is no longer necessary of trying to integrate the planning and selection. We do not use a selection room or any other type virtual display technology. We took the time to creat a very well done brochure which is consumer friendly.

    Where I slightly diverge with you is over the importance of the merchandise and pricing . Seems as though many have relegated the assortment to whatever the supplier offers. This is a mistake. It overwhelmed and confuses. By using the principles I have shared and espoused for years , we have improved our averages and margins dramatically. Assortment, pricing and explanation still are important elements to a well balancd menu of choices for the consumer.

  3. Howard Beckham June 30, 2015 at 9:05 am - Reply

    As I remember it from my accounting class over 30 years ago: Gross Revenue less cost of goods sold = gross profit.
    Families today are more educated and very cost conscience. I have had several historically burial families switch to cremation when they see the current day cost.
    No secret to the funeral directors that are honest with themselves: Families buy caskets for eye appeal and price. In fifteen years only one family has ever asked “do you have a bronze casket?”

  4. Richard Tetrick August 1, 2015 at 10:32 am - Reply

    Alan-nice article to follow-up on the fallacy of casket discounts. Discount off of what? LOL We switched to imported caskets 8 years ago and have never looked back. We are not concerned about increasing our wholesale average to benefit a supplier. We are more interested in having a product that is affordable, has great eye appeal and satisfies the needs of our families. Our company is a big believer I follow-up surveys from families. I am fairly positive I have never had a family make a single comment about the casket. What families want is a staff that treats them well, meets their needs by explaining to them what their service options are, and then helps to craft a service that pays honor to the deceased and reflects upon the life of the person. Yes, there will always be a need for caskets, but my goodness do they have to be so expensive. When I first joined my father in funeral service we had a casket that was priced at wholesale at $195, that same casket is now $1432. We need to get our heads out of the sand and remember that service is really what we have to sell. A casket is about the same size as a refrigerator which generally cost much less than the retail casket and does a whole lot more than a casket does. Let’s face it folks, a casket is a commodity and nothing more. Convert those casket show rooms to a space for receptions and use a catalogue to show families the “box”. Thanks for allowing me to vent and providing all of us with wonderful food for thought.

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