I had contact with an industry friend who had just returned from the Cremation Association of North America (CANA) convention last week. She indicated to me that it was good to get back to an in-person gathering and see old friends. One of the other things she indicated is that, in her opinion, how the death care profession had changed so fast in the 18-month Covid period we have been in.
And, one of those changes is all the new products in death care and especially death care technology. Now, my great-grandfather built caskets by hand and caskets are still a durable manufactured good. Certainly not high tech. However, using the technology of the internet and the logistics of expedited shipping, in my opinion, qualifies the people at Titan Casket as operating a company in “Death Tech”.
Titan Casket, as you can read in this article from GeekWire, has a mission of making it easy to buy caskets online. One of the Titan co-founders is Josh Siegel whose background includes eight years at Amazon. Siegel, his wife Liz, and another co-founder Scott Ginsberg launched the business in January 2020. Again, according to the article, Ginsberg has over 20 years of experience in the casket business.
According to the article, the company is already profitable, has grown by a multiple of five, and now have warehouses in Los Angeles and the Northeast to be able to expedite movement of product to the final destinations. In addition, they acknowledge that they have not raised venture or outside capital to date.
As you know, the “Funeral Rule” requires funeral homes to use suitable caskets that may be delivered to their funeral homes by third parties such as Titan Casket. Titan co-CEO Liz Siegel says this about that, “In all fairness, a lot of funeral homes are wonderful to work with.”
Funeral Director Daily take: One of the things that is impressive to me about Titan Casket is that they have a 4.9 Star Rating (Out of a possible 5.0) in 267 reviews. They have to be doing something right to have those numbers. And I’ve learned, in the world of buy by phone, those ratings matter to many buyers.
We have written a lot about Direct Cremation No Service (DCNS) cases and how their low prices, and increasing numbers, have hurt margins in traditional funeral homes. Third party casket vendors cause a concern to traditional funeral homes for the same reason. If, for your traditional cases, you rely on a large margin from a casket sale, then that dynamic will be shrinking if some of your caskets are delivered by third parties.
Traditional funeral homes are being hit from all flanks with specialists entering the death care realm. Those specialists – whether DCNS specialist firms or third party casket suppliers – will continue to earn from their respective niches and take some of your margin. It will require funeral home owners and managers to continue to look at their operating statements to see where they can hold or increase those margins. Make sure you know what you do best and why families call on your services. . . . and then make sure you maximize your revenues and margins from those sources.
More news from the world of Death Care:
- Strategic focus on high-cremation markets drives growth at Foundation Partners Group. Markets Insider
- Composting a human body: Eco-conscious options as last rites – explained. Times Now News.
- Could cemeteries be the future for solar power? Video story and print article. Channel 7 – Denver (CO)
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