Some of the best ideas for the business end of the funeral profession that I received came from other industries. I also think that you can learn from other countries and cultures.
In this article from the South China Morning Post Chinese funeral home company Fu Shou Yuan looks towards the future and says that their business is “going to transition into something like a memory factory.”
The company is very forward looking and with more than 9 million people dying annually in China they believe a boom in the funeral services profession is looming just ahead of the next corner. The company’s chairman Bai Xiaojiang, was quoted, “China’s middle-class spending ability is undeniable, and it is bringing spring to the funeral industry”.
According to the article, the Mainland Chinese are embracing value-added funeral services that add revenue and profit to the funeral providers. Without going into too much detail the company mentioned in the article that they are “creating demand for innovative methods for consumers to commemorate their loved ones, such as virtual graves where people can store large amounts of information about the deceased”.
Last year Fu Shou Yuan noted that their revenue increased by 11.8% and their profits saw a 17% increase. Pre-need sales of packages including cremation, disposal of ashes and logistical work increased by 111.7% last year.
Related–In another article we noted in China Daily that you can read here the Beijing Municipal Civil Affairs Bureau said Monday that it will begin a crackdown on unlicensed and illegal funeral van operators. According to the article, “some van owners pay particular attention to critically ill patients at hospitals and then provide a package of services to family members of the deceased when they are emotionally unstable”. The article continues, “these owners usually charge much more than the regulated market price”.
Li Hongbing, Deputy Director of the Beijing Bureau of Civil Affairs, said that legal support is not sufficient in the funeral industry and suggested that laws should be formulated to regulate the business.