Business

An interview from across the pond
Business

An interview from across the pond

We came across this article in the Scotsman that you can read here.  It is an interview with Tim Purves who is the Chairman of William Purves Funeral Directors of Scotland.  Mr. Purves is the 5th generation family funeral director of the company which was started in 1888 by a craftsman and cabinet maker.  The firm is said to be Scotland’s largest independent operator with 31 locations in Scotland and northeast England. American funeral directors who read the article will […]

Visiting non-compete agreements
Business

Visiting non-compete agreements

It’s been a few years since I’ve actively managed our funeral home, but this recent article from the Minneapolis Star Tribune brought me back to one of the issues that I dealt with in the hiring of employees.  That was the issue of non-compete agreements or covenants not to compete. Non-competes have historically been used in business as the article says, “to protect the trade secrets and innovations of companies.  For agreeing not to compete with them, an employer would […]

Social help in funeral costs
Business Preneed

Social help in funeral costs

Virtually all funeral homes in the United States are profit driven.  I’m aware of one funeral home in Minnesota — in New Ulm — which is a cooperative community based funeral home.  You can see their web-site here. However, I’m guessing that over 99% of funeral homes in North America are profit driven enterprises.   Today, however, we are starting to see socially conscious not-for-profit death care establishments turn up in Australia and Scotland that may someday put a dent in […]

Indiana funeral home increases community involvement
Business

Indiana funeral home increases community involvement

According to this article in the Kokomo (Indiana) Perspective, the Ellers Mortuary and Cremation Center was acquired by Service Corporation International in 2016.  Some feared that the acquisition would cause the Kokomo business, that had been in business since 1924, to lose its personal touch. However, according to General Manager Jaime Handy, “the acquisition has actually strengthened the company’s ties to the community”.  The funeral home has actually expanded the services it can offer to the community. Ellers Mortuary and […]

InvoCare accused of billing irregularities
Business

InvoCare accused of billing irregularities

  Australia’s largest purveyor of death care services, InvoCare, has been accused by some of irregularities in the way that it handles its invoicing.  According to this article from Choice.com,  InvoCare routinely includes a $320, plus taxes, “administration fee” on invoices. Again, according to the Choice.com article, the administration fee functions somewhat as a “late fee”.  For instance, if you pay the invoice in full within 21 days you can then deduct the administration fee.  However, when you pay the […]

Russell & Pica Funeral Homes plans 3rd location
Business

Russell & Pica Funeral Homes plans 3rd location

Russell & Pica Funeral Homes now operate out of Brockton and West Bridgewater, Massachusetts.  According to this article,  land is now being cleared for the company’s third location which will be in Lakeville. The funeral home company plans to build a 6,700 foot funeral home on a 70,134 lot across from a Walgreen’s on Bridge Street.  The plans for the New England style architecture building were approved by the planning commission this past spring.  The site plan also calls for […]

A new, hipper, choice in funerals
Business Products

A new, hipper, choice in funerals

Last week I learned about, what I might classify as extraordinary and possibly trend setting – if one can say that about funeral establishments – new funeral home that opened recently in London.  The business named “Exit Here” was conceived by British restauranteer Oliver Peyton and his business partner, Barry Pritchard, a third generation funeral director and a board member of the UK’s National Association of Funeral Directors. You can read an article from Citylab on the business here. Exit […]

New facilities around the country
Business Regulations

New facilities around the country

As we go into the weekend we just thought we would update our readers with some new construction going on in the death care business.  The following articles pertain to individual or family owned businesses either being started or being expanded. As we have seen many times with the ideas of proposed crematories — there seems to be a mix of having that crematory welcomed to the community or being looked at by people in the community as “not in […]

Plenty of opportunities for women in the death care profession
Business

Plenty of opportunities for women in the death care profession

I received my Bachelor of Science degree in Mortuary Science in 1980 — in a class of about 40 males and one female.  That is just the way it was. . .there were no young women going into the business at that time.  Today, the mortuary science classes at my alma mater are about 70% female. I recently came across this article from Indiana that was about the 17th Nontraditional Employment for Women Opportunities Workshop in Syracuse, Indiana.  I thought […]

American Entrepreneurship. . . funeral homes are a big part of it
Business

American Entrepreneurship. . . funeral homes are a big part of it

Monday morning I received a call from a lady I know who works tirelessly with the community’s Junior Achievement organization.  She mentioned that they were looking for some new board members and she wondered if I would be interested in serving. My first thought was, “I don’t need more board positions”.  I’ve served on a lot in my small community over the years and now serve as the Chairman of a non-profit Home Care and Hospice Company, serve on the […]