Aurora Casket platform virtually connects families, funeral homes

No one likes to plan a funeral, and often such plans are made quickly, through grief, with little or no notice.

Technology is changing the way almost everyone does business, and the funeral planning industry is no different. Aurora Casket Company, which manufactures 170,000 caskets every year, has developed Advisor, a web-based platform that helps connect funeral homes and families, making the planning process easier and more personalized.

"More and more people are looking for planning services online because today families move a lot, and may not have the family history of being tied to a local funeral home," says Aurora Executive Vice President Chris Barrott. "Our customers have a need for software to help them run their businesses as well as to become more proactive in dealing with families."

Advisor has three basic parts: one piece that automates the basic business process and a second that allows families to make arrangements online before a face-to-face meeting. The third piece allows families to privately share information and memories through a password protected, custom website. The family website is emailed as a link.

Advisor is an updated version of arrangement software Aurora, a fifth-generation family business founded in 1890, developed in the late 1990s. Advisor is distinct from its predecessor in that it is online and incorporates a front-end counterpart. Families who have used the software say they like planning and communicating online, at their own pace, before meeting with funeral home staff.

"Through Advisor, families can learn about what is going to be involved in the process, what items they need to bring with them, what documents they need to find, decisions they need to be making, services available and (they) can share information about the loved that has passed away," Barrott says.

Advisor's arraignment platform has been updated to allow more personalized planning, Barrott adds.

"Today funerals are being planned in a much more personalized manner, and funeral homes are a lot more flexible in how they are being carried out. The software encourages that creativity and how it's used to help with the grieving process," Barrott says.

By Feoshia Henderson
Follow Feoshia on Twitter @feoshiawrites
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