During the global pandemic of 2020, businesses across all industries are reflecting on the efficiencies of their day to day operations.  With the impact of coronavirus felt worldwide the majority of industries have seen a detrimental impact on their business operations.  This has led to a complete reevaluation of their business needs and amongst other things, the effectiveness of their CRM software.  The funeral industry however, is one of the few who have had to reevaluate their day to day functionality due to the increased levels of demand and pressure on their operations.   Many funeral directors are now looking at their funeral management system to evaluate whether the software they are using is the most effective solution to maximise their business operations.  

Others are reluctant to introduce more technology and after many years of experience with their own system, some funeral directors may ask themselves - why bother changing things now?  Migrating to new funeral management software can certainly be a daunting process but most modern funeral directors find that this is more than made up for by the gains in time saved and increased business efficiency. Indeed, data suggests that almost all funeral directors who switch to cloud software will never return to spreadsheet or legacy systems such is the impact of this kind of software to their long term success.

So, which software is the right choice? There are many different funeral home software packages to choose from in the current market, each with unique features, layouts and pricing levels.  Below is a curated shortlist of the best funeral home software solutions available right now. This list should help funeral directors determine which system fits best with the demands of their day to day operations.

1. Obit

Obit by Lytesoft has slowly but surely become one of the leading funeral home software systems available to funeral directors in the UK and Ireland and is our recommended first choice. Designed in partnership with funeral directors from the outset, Obit is a system that has evolved to meet the needs of the industry through close relationships with funeral homes. The software itself is cloud-based, allowing funeral directors remote access to the system from anywhere by using the app on mobile or desktop

Obit mobile app

The company's goal was to create a system that simplifies the paperwork process in the very bureaucratic funeral industry thereby creating efficiency savings for funeral directors. The Obit system does just that, offering a complete solution for funeral directors. From easy to set up templates for notices and invoicing to dashboards and notifications, this app has it all. If you use Sage, you will love the seamless integration with this accounting software. Another standout feature from Obit is the ability to easily integrate condolence books to your own website in order to host and display death notices and condolence messages directly from mourners. This is advantageous to the funeral home versus using third party solutions and appears to be a popular solution during lockdowns or periods of heightened restrictions.

Starting from just €5 per funeral with volume discounts available, Obit is very well priced for a system that has a comprehensive suite of features including reporting, financial and business management tools. The system is fully customisable for every business and for each funeral allowing the home to run the business their way. Obit currently offers prospective clients a risk-free 30 day trial and has glowing online reviews.

GOOD FOR:

  • Funeral directors who want to create efficiency savings by reducing the time spent on admin or want to streamline their operating processes.
  • Funeral directors who want an enterprise grade management system at an affordable and transparent price.
  • Funeral directors who want to increase their web presence by providing an online condolence book service to their clients.
  • Multi-branch funeral homes or funeral directors with a presence in both the UK and Ireland

2. Seker

Seker is one of the newest systems available in the funeral home software market.  Just a couple of years old, Seker cloud based eFD system offers a suite of tools for the modern funeral director.  Much like Obit, it offers comprehensive funeral management and planning software from the first enquiry, to prompts and notifications for the clients’ aftercare following the funeral.  The system also includes a communication system to allow direct email with clients with the option to create a secure clients portal, integrated onto the funeral director’s website. Seker’s system is a little more complicated as the software is broken down into different packages which are purchased individually.

For funeral directors who do not wish to buy all the modules, the company also offers a reduced package which is branded as “eFD lite” This offers basic features for funeral administration and could be attractive to small funeral directors with a low volume of uncomplicated funerals. It should be noted that if additional features are needed in the future, eFD Lite users will have to pay for the full version in order to gain access to a number of key features that are essential for most funeral directors.

Reviews for Seker are on the whole positive despite some mixed opinions on the setup experience. That said, Seker is a modern and capable software and a clear step up from manual spreadsheets.

GOOD FOR:

  • Funeral directors who want a system built to enhance customer communications and focus on client aftercare.
  • Funeral directors who want to pick and choose which modules to buy
  • Funeral directors who have only basic operating requirements (choosing eFD lite for example)

3. Arranger

Arranger is a well-known name due to its high profile advertising at trade shows and in trade magazines.  With a simple layout, the technology is designed to easily showcase the products and services of the funeral home  to their prospective client.  In addition to the administration tools that the system provides for funeral planning, the clients can view the products offered by browsing on a tablet. In doing so, the system provides clear pricing and cost estimates and is ideal for a sales-focused funeral home.

Like Obit and Seker, Arranger offers a centralised real-time diary for all activities to be listed for funeral planning.  As with the Obit pricing structure, the cost of the system is calculated on a per funeral basis, with a tiered pricing structure based on the needs of the business.  The starting price of the software is not stated by the company.

Arranger has been renowned in the funeral industry for their marketing prowess to attract new customers, offering devices and various marketing merchandise to new customers to promote their services. Whilst this marketing has been something of a refreshing change in the otherwise staid funeral services sector, we will focus here on the features of the software itself as this is the main consideration when making a switch to a new long term solution.  

GOOD FOR:

  • Sales-driven funeral directors who want to showcase a catalogue of products and services to clients
  • Smaller, independent funeral directors who need help to drive business growth
  • Funeral directors who have a wide range of add-ons as part of their offering

4. Evolution FMS

Originally designed in 1994, Evolution FMS by Oakwood Technology has long existed as a comprehensive software system for modern funeral directors. Originally existing as a software-based programme accessible only on the funeral directors office computer, it now includes the cloud-based Evolution FMS Anywhere to better compete with rival solutions.

The system has a simple layout and the company pride themselves on the ability of the software to integrate with a number of third party accounting systems, to generate invoices with ease. Evolution FMS has operated in the UK market for some time and offers a free trial to all new users. Pricing, however, is only available to the client after an initial enquiry to the company.

GOOD FOR:

  • Funeral directors who want a system with simple, practical features but don’t mind a slightly dated layout.
  • Funeral directors who want to use a company that has been established for decades
  • Funeral homes that are looking to make invoicing more efficient.

In conclusion, these software packages are currently considered the best available systems for a modern funeral director looking for a fully cloud-based solution. Legacy systems such as Eulogica or even a combination of excel sheets and non-industry specific software are still in use in many independent funeral homes, but they can only do so much compared to these more modern software packages.  Any of the above will revolutionise the business operations of a funeral home currently using a legacy system, saving them both time and money and introducing new features to enhance their appeal.