*Revised January 2022
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. (Disclaimer: article was originally written in 2020 and is based on the observations and opinions of our writer. For the updated information, please visit the respective websites directly.)
The Contenders – A Cemetery Mapping Software Comparison
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.
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 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.
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 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.