Mobile Impact on the Death Care Industry
By Ken Munday
In our ever changing world, mobile technology has become increasingly popular. The 2 main types of mobile technology are smartphones and tablets. Smart phones, as we know them, have been on the scene for over 10 years. Tablets, however, are a bit newer. I still remember all the jokes about the iPad when it first became available but it really revolutionized the tablet market.
In the death care industry, as with other businesses, taking advantage of mobile technology can make your team more productive.
The Use of Smartphones in the Death Care Industry to Increase Productivity
Smartphones are much more common and widely used than tablets. They allow fast and easy communication for staff that is offsite, whether that means out in the field, visiting families, at a conference, etc. These phones allow staff to communicate not only via telephone calls but through text messages, messengers such as BBM, video conferencing and email, depending on the tools being used in the office. Staff can even send photos back and forth such as a photo of a monument. Smartphones also allow for syncing of calendars between the smartphone and office and have calendars update immediately so they have access to appointments right away. Microsoft 365 and Google are two great options that allow immediate access to emails and calendar events.
There are hundreds of thousands of apps available such as Microsoft Office, accounting apps, productivity apps and other familiar tools. There are also industry specific tools like Stone Orchard and LEES + Associates’ iCemetery app which allows families to do their own genealogy searches and display information about persons and maps.
In addition, smartphones give you access to the internet which makes it easier to search for information while working offsite. With ever changing technology, more and more power can be gained using smartphones.
Using Tablets in the Death Care Industry to Make the Power of a Desktop Portable
Tablets have similar, if not the same, technology as smartphones but with larger screens and more powerful computing ability. The only difference is that they do not have phones built in. Tablets are easier to use for some programs such as word processing programs, due to their size and power. As with smartphones, some software vendors such as Stone Orchard Software, have created death care industry specific tools designed for tablets. An example of this is the Tablet component, which enables staff to view cemetery maps in the field. Some of this functionality can also be used for sales purposes.
Holding meetings with people in various locations is now much easier with Tablets, as most have free built-in tools for teleconferencing. These tools can replace the traditional, more expensive teleconferencing software that requires both a computer and phone.
Tablet PCs are becoming more and more powerful making it possible to use them instead of traditional desktop computers. I personally use the new Windows Surface Tablet/PC which functions both as a computer while in office and as a tablet when I am away from the office. There are a number of tools available that allow you to sync data across traditional desktop computers, smartphones and tablets, such as Microsoft Outlook, Gmail and Stone Orchard Software.
The Future of Technology in the Death Care Industry
Technology continues to advance and change and it will be interesting to see where it will take us. One example is Google Glass. Stone Orchard strives to stay on top of technology advances in the death care industry so technologies can be constantly leveraged and integrated into our cemetery, crematorium and funeral home software to enhance productivity for our software users. What will be the next major technology to impact the death care industry? Stay tuned.