Business

SCI CEO Tom Ryan: “We’re going to have some revenue pressures”

Over the years I’ve often thought that the business of funeral and cremation care as a business is overlooked by those that teach or write of things happening in the business world.  It is not everyday that Forbes magazine does an in-depth article on our profession.

Last week, Forbes featured an article that you can read here entitled, “How the pandemic is killing the death business.”  The article features an in-depth interview with Service Corporation International’s CEO Tom Ryan.  It gives some insights into how the “big boys” in the profession are viewing the business aspect of the death care business in light of the present COVID-19 situation.  If you are in the business, you should read this article.

Without going much into the article, here are some things I took away that all funeral home owners and operators can learn from.

  • The “no large gathering rules’ are creating funeral, memorial, and celebration downward revenue pressures
  • Pre-need revenue, especially on the cemetery side of the business, is probably going to slide big-time during the 2nd quarter
  • Live streaming, many times done for free now by funeral homes, may in the future, according to Ryan,  be a revenue source for funeral homes.
  • Those operators who want to get larger may have a bigger playing field post-COVID as many smaller independent funeral homes, at least in Ryan’s opinion, may not want to live through this kind of stress again.  CEO Ryan sees the profession once again ripe for acquisition growth following the COVID period.

I’m grateful to Forbes for their in-depth style and also for not hiding such a fine article behind a pay wall like many of the top publications are doing these days.

Related:  Here is an article from Great Britain’s The Guardian relating how the downward revenue pressures and the added expenses of personal protection equipment and more are causing The Funeral Co-op, the United Kingdoms largest death care operator financial issues.

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