Batesville Casket company was one of eleven Indiana companies honored and inducted into the State of Indiana Manufacturer’s Hall of Fame in a ceremony on October 4. Companies were recognized by the Indiana Manufacturer’s Association for their outstanding contributions to the development of a healthy, dynamic manufacturing environment in Indiana.
Batesville has been a part of the manufacturing industry in Indiana since 1906 when the Hillenbrand family purchased the Batesville Coffin Company. Batesville is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Hillenbrand Industries — a global diversified industrial company. You can read a press release on this honor here.
Funeral Director Daily take: Batesville Casket and Hillenbrand Industries have been a part of my vocabulary almost since I could walk. Growing up in a funeral home family in the 1960s and 1970s I can remember my dad really counting on the Batesville Casket sales representative to let him know what was new in the funeral industry. Those monthly visits – when caskets were ordered for the next month – were highly looked forward to by my father. He looked at the representative as somewhat of a consultant that partnered with him to help in the business operation of the funeral home.
Later on, as I started in the funeral home in the 1980s, I can remember my visits and friendships – some that continue to this day – with my Batesville Casket representative. I also enjoyed those visits and the knowledge that I took from them was great.
Batesville has many times been on the cutting edge of what is happening in our industry also. In the early 1980s when funeral insurance for pre-arrangements became a national product they were right in the middle of it with the development of the Forethought brand.
It will be interesting to see what happens in the casket industry and see if consolidation continues. I’ve heard that there are about 1.3 million caskets sold in the United States today but – because of the rise of cremation – there will be only about 600,000 sold in about 15 years. Decreasing the number in half will have dire consequences and there is bound to be winners and losers. It is interesting to note that the largest two players in the game over the last 50 years — Aurora Casket and Batesville Casket are now subsidiaries of much larger public companies.