cemetery management software

7 Ways Deathtech Can Support Local Government Digital Strategies

Council digital strategies aim to maximise the benefits of technology in serving their local communities. Here's how deathcare management solutions can help.

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| Read time: 3 mins

Digital strategies within local government aim to maximise the benefits of technology in serving their local communities and other stakeholders in a way that responds to evolving needs and expectations.

Influenced in no small part by accelerated digital adoption due to the impacts of COVID-19, one way in which they are doing this is in allowing residents access to online services at their own convenience  - utilising a range of communication and advice options such as interactive web pages, e-forms and dedicated apps for specific service needs [1].

Importantly, they are also helping to create more efficient administrative processes for councils and council staff, who are now, as suggested by the Crown Commercial Service, “Investing in back office systems which enable better and easier sharing of data, increased flexibility of access for staff and quicker and more effective decision making.”

So with paper-based, legacy administration systems becoming increasingly out of step with this new approach and new ways of working, we look at several ways in which deathcare management software can help bereavement services to align with these council digital strategies.

 

1. Automating Routine Tasks

In automating routine tasks, such as the generation of required documentation, or the automatic sending of emails to families or stakeholders; by creating smart workflows across the operation, such as automatically assigning burial or cremation work tasks, office staff have more time to focus on services to families while benefiting from the efficiencies and time savings of more streamlined processes.

2. Enhancing Partner Collaboration

Online communication channels can go a long way to encouraging and supporting collaboration between stakeholders.

The PlotBox Funeral Director portal for example, provides Funeral Directors with 24/7 access to cemetery or crematorium calendars, allowing them to provisionally book slots, submit requests and upload relevant documentation.

That means clearer lines of communication, less time spent on paperwork, avoiding weekend backlogs, and most importantly, a greater level of service for families.

Not limited to funeral directors, similar portals may also be used to manage stonemason requests for work permits online. In allowing office staff to view, approve, track and sign off onsite works as part of a single, streamlined process - once again, they can again save time and ensure compliance.

3. Improved Customer Support

In simple terms, cemetery management solutions allow staff to get more quickly what they need to assist families. Searching records becomes a matter of a few keystrokes, with a centralised database for burial records and plot information - this, as opposed to poring through filing cabinets, lot cards, paper maps etc.

Burial scheduling can be made much simpler with access to online diaries via tablet devices; and the linking of plot locations to deceased records opens up a range of possibilities in terms of enhanced customer service.

PlotBox’s EverAfter website, for example, allows cemeteries to share records online, which when linked to interactive digital maps, not only allows for the discovery of genealogical information, but for quick and easy directions to loved one’s locations.

4. Data-driven insights

Evidence-based decisions are essential for local authorities, and within bereavement services, they’re instrumental for optimising resources, improving service delivery and making decisions about the future.

One of the greatest enablers of this is having a clear view of what and where your inventory is at any point in time.

This ‘inventory intelligence’, achieved through data verification processes and the linking of plot locations with records, provides the reporting capabilities that can show authorities burial trends, inventory levels across time periods, revenue streams and all manner of insights that allow them to plan strategically.

5. Service sustainability

Land availability continues to be an issue for local authorities - after all, how can they continue to provide burial services long into the future for local residents when land is a finite resource?

Cemetery management software can help in a number of ways. One, is in the ability it provides to analyse inventory and optimise layouts.

By utilising data insights - for example, run rates - authorities can more accurately forecast demand, anticipate future space requirements, and plan for either the expansion of cemetery grounds or, where not possible, implement plans and measures to ensure the most efficient use of land available - in all to ensure the long-term viability of their operations in support of future generations.

5. Improved team communication

The management of multiple sites and facilities, across large geographical areas, often by small, multi-functional teams, relies on clear and timely communication.

That’s not something that has always been easily achieved using paper-based systems, and the need to visit sites in-person. 

Happily, more successful coordination of activities can be achieved through shared calendars, work order task assignments and digital mapping.

With shared calendars, for example, staff members can view upcoming events, such as interments and cremations or the upcoming day, week or month, and plan their time accordingly. And because they can be updated in real-time, the risk of miscommunications or double-bookings is minimised.

The ability to assign work orders for common tasks, then allocate to individuals or teams attached to burials, cremations, memorials, deeds, or plots, means they can be tracked and managed clearly and efficiently.

This not only helps to ensure compliance with service level agreements in meeting customer expectations, but this streamlined, real-time approach to task management ensures that responsibilities are clearly defined, deadlines are met, workloads are balanced and resources managed effectively.

6. Document Management, Accountability and Compliance

The ability to manage essential documents effectively is paramount for operating authorities. 

Cloud-based cemetery management software can, in effect, create a central repository for critical documents that can be easily accessed, interrogated and retrieved from anywhere at any time. That provides a number of benefits.

Standardised templates, for example, for forms or contracts can be created and stored, ensuring consistency and accuracy, while minimising errors and reducing processing times. 

Sensitive information, such as burial records and permits, can be stored securely, with access controls and audit trails, protecting confidential data from unauthorised access for complete confidence.

Those audit trails, which may include the tracking of changes and user actions on documents, help to ensure data integrity and accountability with full transparency, while helping to maintain accuracy over time, which in turn supports compliance.

Going back to our second point on collaboration, this form of secure, online document management can also facilitate more seamless collaboration, by enabling users to share documents safely, to comment upon them and even provide electronic signatures.

And of course, in terms of business continuity, this information held securely and accessible from anywhere helps to minimise potential disruptions and maintain service levels in the face of unforeseen events.

This ability also to scan, digitise, and store crucial documents online, can also help to bridge the gap in many ways between the old and the new streamlining your record-keeping process while preserving your cemetery's legacy, allowing staff to quickly search old books, contacts, cards and maps.


Centralised Data Management

This centralised data management, in effect, provides bereavement services providers with a ‘single source of truth’. Accurate data, stored securely and updated in real-time, accessible from anywhere at any time, removing bottlenecks and silos of information, improving communication, and ensuring accuracy while eliminating the need for manual record-keeping.


Refs
[1] https://www.crowncommercial.gov.uk/products-and-services/technology/digital-transformation-in-local-government

 


 

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