top of page

by Reid Hanson

     As the world speeds toward a digital future, the deathcare industry seems uncertain as to how to adopt technology. Creating and integrating digital tools has become so commonplace in daily life that it’s hard to imagine running a business that doesn’t use software for the management of routine tasks—and yet, many in this industry still fall far behind the times.

     For many years, service businesses have struggled because they lack the ability to enable management to step back without negatively impacting the day-to-day operations of the organization. When you integrate systems and guidelines that align with the culture of your organization, it creates a long-lasting, successful operation that will see better employee retention and less burnout.


   There are plenty of options for organizations to embrace efficiency, improve tracking efforts, and guarantee compliance throughout the business. Most options are time-consuming, labor-intensive, and were never built to scale.


   Wise ownership recognizes when human tasks should be replaced by automated systems, not because people aren’t important, but simply because it frees up the people to do the work that computers simply couldn’t or shouldn’t do.


  The right system or combination of systems creates consistency and fosters measured and repeatable positive customer experiences day in and day out. So don’t limit your search to only considering an all-in-one platform that compromises every workflow, instead of utilizing the best in class workflow management systems that bring not only a return on investment but also offer the reporting options your organization requires.

Best Practices for Integrating Software Systems

       Successful companies are continually placing their efforts into improving best-practices and systems to enhance workflows that are easy to integrate and also don’t add a level of complexity to the user experience.

      When considering a new software or system, there must be a goal in mind as well as a list of features that will define how you wish to reach that goal. These features can be simple or complex. But the more you have the goal and features defined, the easier it will be to find your perfect fit with what is commercially available.

    With your features and goal in hand, the search can begin. One thing to understand is in order to be commercially stable, there are options that will start and stop at different points in your offerings. Meaning unless you can take an extremely defined feature list along with an exception management rule process, it will literally require years of time and effort to build an application that fits your needs exactly.

       Also understand that even when you attempt to DIY a solution, your goals will change over time. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all for this or any industry. Even the largest, most successful applications commercially available understand that they need to offer add-ons and other premium features in workflows outside of their core focus.

    This means that off-the-shelf applications need to focus on integrations and data portability, rather than attempting to offer a one-stop-shop for all of your software requirements. As with anything in this (or any other) industry, the best results are going to be obtained by using the right tools for the job and employing them properly.

     For example, your accounting software system isn’t going to help with your database resources, and you shouldn’t expect it to. You need to find the right tools for all the tasks that need to be handled within your organization.

Still Living in the Stone Age?

When you make the decision to upgrade your processes, you’ll be able to create consistency, foster a culture of repeatable and measurable experiences that ensure all your clients have the best experience day in and day out.

  The deathcare industry from a data management perspective is not any different from other industries. All organizations struggle with inheritance of processes and systems that may not even have served the business when it was created, let alone years later. When was the last time you investigated the efficiency and functionality of your processes and operations?

     When it comes to your organizational operational systems and client experience environment, it is important to have systems in place that keep divisions in duties to ensure departments are focused on the bulk of their job description, not just doing whatever work needs to be done.


    Sure, it won’t hurt the owner of your organization to take out the garbage (once in a while), but your accountant shouldn’t be greeting families for meetings. Just as removal technicians shouldn’t be answering customer order requests in a case collection environment.


     Ownership needs to be focused on managing systems and embracing platforms that can be integrated to keep duplicate date entry to a minimum while keeping systems and workflows separate. In some cases, there will be overlap in functionality that seems redundant; however, choose the system that offers the best features and gets you to that overarching goal.


   When considering a system that may have overlap with existing software, one key feature that is often overlooked is user access. Depending on the core application, all users don’t need the same amount of access to all areas within the add-on or core software you are considering. By setting user restrictions and access rules to core applications, you can spend less on software licensing when fewer people need access. This also keeps better control of your application access when it comes to employee turnover.

Defined Processes for Successful Operations 

       Death is a personal event. Every situation is different and some workflows will never be able to be completed by a machine or some software platform. However, there are other areas of the business where people can absolutely be replaced by systems—not because they aren’t valued, but because the replacement will free up people to conduct the business of death with warmth and compassion.


       When you make the decision to upgrade your processes, you’ll be able to create consistency, foster a culture of repeatable and measurable experiences that ensure all your clients have the best experience day in and day out.

Knowing When to Replace People

with Platforms

Reid Hanson  is founder of Cairnstack Software, which offers tools for tracking and tracing any form of asset or inventory. The three main product lines, TRXio, MorTrack, and PTI Print were each developed as specialized platforms for specific industries. As an entrepreneur, Reid saw this need for responsive, integrative software and, with early beginnings in the consumer electronics industry, he saw a way to improve on past employer offerings and began a journey of creating and running businesses that have made a global impact. MorTrack brings multi-industry best practices in logistics and process excellence to the deathcare industry offering tried-and-true logistic software for an industry-specific decedent case custody management platform for funeral homes, crematories, embalmers, and coroners worldwide. Contact our team at:

      As process engineers, my team and I spend much of

our time reviewing and consulting with companies on

their processes and goals.

      I’ve seen many companies struggle with process

change simply because of the emotional connection to

the system in place. In other words…change is scary,

but complacency is expensive and dangerous.

bottom of page