8 Best Cemetery Management Software Compared 2020

Having the right tools at your disposal to perform your job efficiently is priceless. For cemetery management, we’re becoming increasingly aware of the need to progress from using paper ledgers and Excel spreadsheets to cemetery management software that addresses the specific mapping problems faced in this industry.

What is Cemetery Software?

As a cemetery administrator, you’re all too aware that not many outside of the industry really understands the very specific challenges that you face every day. Forgive the pun, but cemetery management is quite niche!

Good cemetery software digitises your cemetery management processes and record-keeping. Great cemetery software transforms and simplifies the way your cemetery is mapped and how you manage your cemetery’s data, affordably, while contributing positively to the legacy of your community.

 

What Features Should Exist on Cemetery Software?

When looking for the right software to help your cemetery’s management, keep in mind that you’re looking for tools that will provide consistency for your cemetery’s maps, eliminate the need for paper records, and offer instant visualisation of the status of each of your cemetery’s plots. Excel is a thing of the past – you’re looking for software tailored to your needs, not a clumsy, catch-all program.

Don’t forget, the cemetery is at the heart of the community’s history, so software that makes it simple for you and others to share those memories is essential in today’s social world.

Equally as important is the need for cemetery software to be affordable with transparent pricing, depending on what your cemetery can afford – big or small. That being said, let’s compare 8 of the best cemetery software platforms out there today so that you can make an informed choice moving forward.

The Contenders – A Cemetery Mapping Software Comparison

 

CemSites

CemSites has become fairly popular in the US, being implemented in more than 40 states since its establishment in 2012, by Founders Scott McAfee and Sean Johnson. “Cloud Software for Cemeteries”, this cloud-based platform specialises in cemetery record management software (CRM), obituaries and stories, and report management, aimed at saving cemeteries time and money.

simple cemetery software | comparison | cemsites | chronicle
CemSites Example Cemetery Map: Round Hill Cemetery

CemSites is for cemeteries of all sizes. Features like grave mapping are only available as an add-on, not as a standard feature. It doesn’t offer a quick indication of plots that are available or occupied, but CemSites offers substantial information through their burial search, including photographs and obituaries. They also offer a handy flower service at the click of a button.

Pricing works on a module and subscription module, so cemeteries pay for what they need. However, it’s not clear what the price tier is like, as you can only view this after you use CemSites’ demo.

Example cemetery map: Round Hill Cemetery

What we like: CemSites offers various plans, depending on your cemetery. This includes pet cemeteries, Jewish cemeteries, and crematoria, among others.

CIMS

CIMS is focused on its GIS (Geographic Information Systems) and has provided mapping and customised software solutions for 1,000 cemeteries in the US since 1992. CIMS’s expertise lies in plot management, but their desktop and cloud platform offers accounting and document management, grave search, image storage, and lot management. It’s a great tool for large and small cemeteries, yet pricing is currently non-transparent – you’ll have to request a free quote. You have the option of opting for the lite version if your budget doesn’t allow for their pricing – a premium price for their longtime presence in the market.

digital cemetery software | comparison | cims | chronicle
CIMS Example Cemetery Map: Belle Fourche Cemetery

CIMS users tend to learn how to use the platform themselves, making use of their commendable customer service portal. Map plots include detailed burial information but don’t offer quick identification of plot status through colour-coding – being in the market since 1992 seems to have made the platform resistant to change, to some degree.

Example cemetery map: Belle Fourche Cemetery

What we like: CIMS support is quick to answer queries and deal with issues, and their many reviews are a testament to their dedication to clients.

OpusXenta

OpusXenta is a global tech company that offers complete solutions for funeral homes, cemeteries, and crematoria. They’ve been around since 2016, and offer two main products: byondcloud and byondpro. 

It’s important to know how each product can help you differently. byondcloud is a digital presence tool, giving you everything you need to expand your presence online, connect with customers and expand your market. byondcloud, on the other hand, is focussed on managing your cemetery business efficiently to help you generate incremental revenue. For cemetery records management, the latter would be the more suitable choice.

Small and medium cemeteries will benefit most from their service – starting from $20 a month if you’re satisfied after their free 14-day trial. Subscriptions-based pricing is modular, allowing you to purchase more features. For detailed information on pricing, you’ll have to contact them directly.

digital cemetery software | comparison | opusxenta opusxi | chronicle
OpusXenta Example Database Dashboard

OpusXenta doesn’t offer a very interactive mapping system as information doesn’t appear when an individual plot is clicked. Without an API (Application Programming Interface), OpusXenta doesn’t enable two applications to exchange data among each other.

Example cemetery map: Not available.

What we like: Their high-quality GIS images are great to behold, and their focus extends to death care, not just cemeteries themselves.

PlotBox

PlotBox is cemetery management reimagined. Founded in 2011, this platform is a one-stop hub for death care management. PlotBox fully integrates two previously separate functions – cemetery management software and cemetery mapping. It also offers iPad and iPhone support for their wide range of features, including API integration, risk assessment, and verified mapping – ideal for large cemeteries which offer complete death care services.

cemetery management software | comparison | plotbox | chronicle
Plotbox Example Cemetery Map: Rookwood Cemetery

It’s a comprehensive platform but can also be too complex for many, so a step-by-step chat with their experts would be necessary.

Pricing for PlotBox’s main product depends on the number of users and cemeteries. They offer 3 main products, while also providing mapping services if that’s all you need, as well as standalone products like remote booking and contract management, CRM for sales, and work orders.

Example cemetery map: Roockwood Cemetery

What we like: Everything you need in one place, offering integration with your current software.

Central Square (formally Stone Orchard)

Founded in 1995, Central Square (known as Stone Orchard until 2018), still uses many of the same core software components from their early development days. In addition to having your own workstation, this cemetery management platform’s primary management module needs a privately hosted server to function. Both the server and software is set up and maintained by you, the customer, and you’re required to hire your own IT team to do so. Important to note: Central Square’s software does not run natively in the cloud and has very limited mapping functionality. Although Central Square support does their best, their reach is limited due to restrictive company policy.

digital cemetery software | comparison | stoneorchard | chronicle
Central Square Example Database Management

Highly customisable, comprehensive records management software allows for a myriad of possibilities. It’s highly unlikely that customers would be left without options, even if they’re looking to enter more obscure bits of interment data.

This is utilitarian software, best suited to those already running a local private server. No bells and whistles here, but with their 25 years of experience they know how cemeteries work and have adapted their original software into a highly competent records management tool.

Although you can purchase just what your cemetery needs, you’d have to contact them directly for pricing. Their software also has minimum hardware requirements to run, so make sure of that beforehand!

Example cemetery map: Not available

What we like: They also include point of sales functionality, helping to maintain complete sales records.

webCemeteries

Helping to manage your records and improve your process while creating a great customer experience, webCemeteries provides cloud-based software solutions for cemetery management. They also help to digitise your existing paper records with scanning and data entry, offer mapping solutions (although public viewers are not able to view vacant or reserved plots), and even website design to generate sales.

simple cemetery software | comparison | webcemeteries | chronicle
webCemeteries Example Cemetery Map: Hope Cemetery

Whether you’re managing a small or large cemetery, this is a very useful platform, but you’d have to contact them directly for any information regarding pricing.

Example cemetery map: Hope Cemetery

What we like: Their incredibly immersive Cemetery360 ground-level views of over 300 cemeteries across 38 states in the US and Canada, as well as having your own branded cemetery app available on mobile app stores.

Grave Discover Software

For reliable cemetery software, Grave Discover Software focuses on record management and grave search – great for small to medium cemeteries. Their product offers highly-detailed features when it comes to record management with a useful cemetery statistics dashboard, grave search and sorting, grave mapping, and a host of others! All cemetery data is also search engine friendly, allowing your cemetery burial information to show up on Google, Bing, Yahoo, and others, but there’s no API available.

simple cemetery software | comparison | grave discover | chronicle
Grave Discover Example Cemetery Map: Rosewood Cemetery

Pricing is fixed and subscription-based – send specific details about your cemetery to Grave Discover to find out what their software will cost you.

Example cemetery map: Rosewood Cemetery

What we like: An interactive cemetery map with an option of various views (satellite, map, detail, and list data) that allows members of the public to search burials and find which plots are for sale.

Chronicle

Innovative, easy-to-use cemetery management software that’s ideal for small and medium cemeteries, Chronicle’s cloud-based platform is working to simplify the way cemeteries are managed since 2016 in Australia and the USA. Its founder, Matthew Borowski, brings his passion and expertise of clever solutions and GIS mapping to the cemetery management industry with a comprehensive, secure platform. Chronicle offers a built-in database with reporting and statistic functionality, although it’s got a closed API.

Chronicle boasts automatic backup, too, so you won’t have to worry about losing your progress. Their fixed, subscription-based pricing system allows you to easily choose a plan for the size of your cemetery. It’s worth noting that they offer a free basic plan for small cemeteries of up to 2,000 plots.

Example cemetery map: Beechworth Cemetery (or browse all the cemetery world map)

What we like: The crisp, clean interface, using high-quality GIS imaging, is really user-friendly and allows for unlimited users.

Our Pick: Chronicle and Their Crisp, User-Friendly Cemetery Management Platform

Simple, comprehensive record management and informative data and geographical mapping make this our top choice for an all-round, affordable, and easy-to-use cemetery mapping software.

Chronicle strives to solve all the major problems with cemetery management today – both those inherited from a pre-digital era and allows for sharing memories instantly in our fast-paced, social world of today. Give it a whirl and manage your cemetery in Chronicle now.

Cemetery Mapping Problems and How to Organize it

Cemetery Mapping Problems | Blog Post | Best Cemetery Mapping Software | Chronicle

6 Cemetery Mapping Problems:

    1. Cemetery Maps So Inconsistent
    2. Paper Records Add to Cemetery Mapping Problems
    3. The Tragedy of Compounding Errors
    4. Eclipse Excel with Great Cemetery Management Software
    5. Share Memories Instantly
    6. Affordable Cemetery Mapping Software

Cemeteries mean different things for different people. For many, they’re sombre resting places which we don’t like to think about. For others, they’re contemplative spaces that hold the memories of their loved ones. There are also those who are fascinated with cemeteries, their atmosphere and lore. However, there are those for whom cemeteries are their everyday life – cemetery administrators and staff. For them, cemeteries mapping problems can be an everyday challenge. The truth is, it can become frustrating and painful to deal with a very unique set of problems for a work environment that most other people have no idea about!

For cemetery administrators, your “workplace” can be a century old, or more, and this comes with a set of problems that you may know too well – cemetery mapping challenges. Often, you just can’t get your head around the records that exist, and at other times, you just try your best to work with what you have. Let’s take a look at some of these issues that cemetery staff are familiar with (and possibly not even realise it).

Why Are Cemetery Maps So Inconsistent?

Quite simply, here’s the reason: most cemetery mapping problems stem from the existing diagrams and records being so old! Look, age isn’t a bad thing. It’s just that as the years have passed, different cemetery administrators and record-keepers just did things their way. Often, they just winged it.

This led to inaccuracies in the diagrams which exist today, some that are even outright incorrect! We’re sure that you’re familiar with it. You’re looking for a specific plot and logic dictates that it should be in a particular spot. You’re frustrated when you learn it’s not where the diagram says it should be, and that’s because some plots have been numbered sequentially by location and others by the time order of their purchase. 

For cemetery admin, your local cemetery association, and visitors alike, these old, inaccurate diagrams need accuracy and consistency. This is why accurate cemetery surveying is vital – it creates consistency, making your job simple and efficient. Grave plots are mapped accurately so your cemetery map shows you exactly where to find them.

Paper Records Add to Cemetery Mapping Problems

A major reason that those old cemetery records and diagrams are such a mess is because they’re all on paper. Making sense of scribbles and scratchy shapes on old paper records and diagrams is a nightmare. Administrators over the years have made annotations on top of the edits made by the previous administrator. You see the problem here, right?

As if bad handwriting isn’t enough of an obstacle to quickly identify who’s buried in the grave you’re looking at, you’ve got to deal with old, delicate paper that requires a very light touch. We’re in the digital age for a reason. There’s no need for paper when you can make clean edits and find the plot you’re looking for without learning how to decipher cuneiform first.

The issue of consistency and longevity is something we’ve solved, too. With seamless cemetery management software, every administrator works with the same mapping and record system. Everyone’s on the same page. Oh, and less paper is more sustainable!

The Tragedy of Compounding Errors

This is no comedy of errors, especially when you consider that inconsistent cemetery mapping records are made more confusing by hoping you’ve deciphered the scribbles correctly. Incorrectly identifying a grave leads to a new burial being mapped incorrectly, too. No one wants a cluster headache in the future when you find out later that a row of new burials are all referenced incorrectly.

Easily identifiable markers definitely make life simpler – using tailored cemetery management software enables you to receive instant visual indications of the plots you’ve selected.

Eclipse Excel with Great Cemetery Management Software

Spreadsheets are not made to solve cemetery mapping problems. Using Excel is great for crunching numbers and statistics, but it’s just not built to solve the issues that you’re facing when you need to know how to make a cemetery plot map accurately.

Excel is a challenge, especially when you’re trying to figure out how to organise data like headstone text and photos, correct interment details, and, of course, physical plot location. There’s no easy way to map your plots in both the real world and in real-time, as well as to get a visual representation of your cemetery’s monuments in the program. It’s inaccurate, and because it appears organised at first, we tend to feel that it really is.

Using Excel, you could fall into a false sense of security, so looking out for a more reliable solution would be a wiser move, especially when you’re made aware of mistakes as soon as they happen. What’s more, unlike Excel, by choosing to use an interactive map of your cemetery, specialised cemetery mapping software allows for team collaboration and provides a safe platform to secure your data on its cloud-based cemetery records software.

Share Memories Instantly

With the prevalence of social media, sharing our lives and memories is part and parcel of our lives today. Yet, how do we share the information on where our relatives are buried so others can identify their headstones and visit their graves? Sharing a PDF is not going to cut it when sharing information is made so easy these days – especially in cases where a family member enquires about which plot is available for purchase at your local cemetery.

This is solved with an online cemetery portal offering public access. It’s easier to share the legacy of your community over a digital platform where you can get instant access to detailed information on who is buried where, and which plots are vacant in your town’s cemetery.

Affordable Cemetery Mapping Software

These solutions sound costly and you’re probably thinking that it’s inaccessible to solve those problems with your budget. Most dedicated software solutions for cemetery mapping problems cost thousands per year. Your cemetery is already spending money to maintain the grounds, so how can you possibly hire a surveyor to walk between the plots and draw a static diagram? 

Look for cemetery mapping software that matches your budget and fulfils your community cemetery’s requirements. Transparent pricing lets you know exactly where you stand. It’s what we pride ourselves on – scalable license fees and cost for us to draw your cemetery, as well as clean and analyse the records of your cemetery of 500 to 10,000 plots.

Cemetery Mapping Problems | Infographic Cemetery Mapping Software | Chronicle.rip

How to Map a Cemetery Easily? Try It For Yourself

As a cemetery administrator, you need to know how to map a cemetery and keep up with the times. To make your job simpler and revive the legacy of your community, there’s no better time than now. You, probably better than anyone, know how fleeting life can be.

Create your cemetery, digitally, with Chronicle’s free cemetery software and see just how easily all these problems can be solved.

Ultimate Guide to Cemetery Grants in Victoria, Australia

Most people think of cemeteries and graveyards as merely a location where the remains of their loved ones are buried. Yet, for those attending to a cemetery or graveyard understand the considerable amount of care, attention to detail, and rehabilitation one requires. Undoubtedly this means a significant amount of money will at some point be the means to a solution to an unforecasted problem.

Continue reading