More from the floor. . . . Supplier news from the NFDA Convention

 

My favorite time annually at the National Funeral Directors Convention (NFDA) is when I get to roam the Expo Hall among all of Death Care’s suppliers and just visit.  Sometimes it is about new and exciting products and sometimes it is just catching up with an old friend. . . . . and sometimes it is about both.

 

Last week at the NFDA convention in Las Vegas I got a little of both in one stop with my friend Ken Moore of Wilbert.  It was  good to talk about winters in Florida and it was good to talk about what has been going on with Wilbert.

 

Wilbert has moved from being a top supplier of burial vaults to a trusted supplier of many different items to the funeral and cemetery profession in my time in the business.  Not only do they provide vaults and services, but now they offer caskets, urns, keepsakes, cemetery products, chemicals, and educational opportunities to funeral professionals.  In essence, they have become a comprehensive “go-to” source for almost all of a funeral home’s needs.

 

Tom Anderson
Funeral Director Daily

I stopped to visit with Ken and when I noticed the monuments displayed in the Wilbert booth I asked to learn more about how one of their latest ventures was going.  That is this venture that Funeral Director Daily wrote about in January 2022 that dealt with the teaming up with Memorial Monuments and Vaults.  (You can read the January 22 FDD article here).

 

If you don’t remember, Memorial Monuments and Vaults is a company based in Meridian, Idaho with facilities in 18 other locations across the United States. The company produces high-quality individualized monument products.  (You can visit their website here.)

 

Ken pointed out to me that the integration of the two companies was going very smoothly.  Memorial Monument’s product line now has the financial resources, national distribution, and international sourcing ability that Wilbert can provide.  Wilbert has also been able to help the company add to their large number of graphic designers to greatly shorten the turn-around time that a bereaved customer has to wait to see graphic proofs.

 

In addition, Wilbert’s financial resources has allowed the company to have the different materials used for monuments in stock creating a faster production schedule to get your family’s ordered monument to the cemetery in a shorter period of time.

 

In essence, it is something you like to see happen when acquisition plans are made. . . .that is a win for the funeral home and their sales personnel as well as a win for the family client who is making the memorial purchase.

 

Another Product that I caught up with — Beauty is certainly in the eye of the beholder, however some time ago I was introduced to the Passage Urn by Pulvis of Bulgaria.  When I saw the beautiful urn on display on a supplier’s table it brought back a memory to me of receiving an e-mail telling me of the Passage Urn and its unique “Inner Coating”.  According to Pulvis, the “Inner Coating” is a white rubber-like layer of material that provides protection and insurance against leakage of cremated remains”

 

The “Passage” urn

In any regard, I saw the description for the Passages Urn as it was described on a brochure as “A delicate oval and elegant spiral, the goal of the Passage urn is to depict a transition from our being and our life to another world, the world of light and infinity.”

 

The e-mail I received at Funeral Director Daily some time ago was about finding a distributor for the Passage in North America.  It appears that has been accomplished as I fould it at the Kelco Supply Company booth at the NFDA convention.

 

To learn more about this beautiful, abstract urn you can go to the Kelco website here.

 

Catching up with old Friends — A visit to the NFDA convention expo floor would not be complete for me without a visit to the Crowne Vault booth.  You see, when I was getting started with this blog and about 4 months into it, I had very few readers and wondered if I would ever get to a point where my thoughts on Death Care would be widely read.

 

Then, out of the blue, I received comments from some of the folks at Crowne Vault telling me how much they had enjoyed my writings and encouraged me to keep it up because this forum would catch on.  They even offered to help underwrite some of my costs of internet security and internet distribution of my work.

 

Suffice it to say, they are a sponsor of Funeral Director Daily to this day and because of that sponsorship you can receive five days of Funeral Director Daily free of charge every week. . . . and, not only are they good people, they have great products!!

 

If I was still in the funeral home business today, I would be packaging a Crowne Vault with every urn sold that was going to be buried in a cemetery.  The urn vaults are great products for a reasonable price and allow you to point out to families you serve that the urn they selected will always be protected underground.  And, by packaging the Crowne Vault with every urn intended for earth commital you will not only receive a financial margin on the urn, but you can receive one on the urn vault as well.  You can learn more about the Crowne Vault here.

 

Here’s a picture of me on the convention floor with Crowne Vault’s Sarah Tepe. . . as business relationships develop over time, Sarah and I now find ourselves talking about our common interests of coaching youth (her volleyball, me Little League), or of our own families and children more so than talking “shop”.  Sarah is one of those who have proved to me that it is not the business that is so great about Death Care. . . .it is “the people” that make it great.

 

Tom Anderson and Crowne Vault’s Sarah Tepe

 

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