Chronicle

How Does Cemetery Software Handle Inventory Management?

How Does Cemetery Software Handle Inventory Management?

TLDR: Key Summary

  • Curious about how does cemetery software handle inventory management? First of all, we create detailed digital maps from scanned records.
  • GIS mapping in cemetery software ensures each plot accurately matches its physical location using high-quality aerial imagery.
  • Data entry and GPS tagging in cemetery software provide precise and comprehensive information for each burial plot.
  • Cemetery software handles inventory management with real-time updates on plot status and detailed information accessible through a digital map.
  • Digital maps and management systems in cemetery software improve cemetery operations, customer interactions, and strategic planning.

Transitioning to digital maps is a big step forward for managing cemeteries. But you might wonder, how does cemetery software handle inventory management? And how can it help keep track of all the burial spots efficiently?

We’ll look at how these maps are created, and updated in real-time, and how they support the entire process from showing available spots to completing sales. This approach simplifies tasks for cemetery staff and improves the experience for families looking for information. Understanding how does cemetery software handle inventory management is crucial in appreciating these benefits.

Gathering Data for the Map

The journey begins with creating a detailed digital map of the cemetery. This process starts by gathering all existing records and maps. For older cemeteries, this might mean digitizing hand-drawn maps or paper records. Newer cemeteries might already have digital data like in Excel but it needs to be formatted correctly. Learning how does cemetery software handle inventory management includes understanding the importance of accurate data gathering.

1. Scanning

The initial step of digitizing involves transforming paper maps and records into a digital format. This is not merely about creating a digital copy; it’s about preparing these documents for integration into a more complex, interactive system.

Every document is carefully photographed or scanned so that even the smallest notes or markings are easy to see in the digital version. This process is meticulous, often requiring cleaning and restoration of older, perhaps damaged documents to get the best possible result. Once captured, these images serve as the foundation for the digital mapping process.

2. GIS Mapping​

The Geographic Information System (GIS) is a powerful tool that brings the map documents to life. There will be surveyors coming to the cemetery to capture the high-quality aerial imagery of the cemetery. A good cemetery software will do a professional drone survey that results in super sharp images, allowing people to zoom in up to 24x to see details on the online maps.

Afterward, the images are imported into GIS software, where they’re georeferenced. This means that the map image is aligned with real-world coordinates. It’s a critical step that ensures each plot on the map accurately corresponds to its physical location on the ground.

In GIS, cemetery maps are layered over satellite images or pre-existing digital maps to verify their accuracy and retain high-quality aerial imagery. This layering also allows for the integration of topographical data, which can be vital for large or hilly cemeteries. The GIS enables editing and updating of the map as new plots are added or as boundaries change, providing a dynamic, up-to-date representation of the cemetery. This explains another aspect of how does cemetery software handle inventory management effectively.

In GIS, cemetery maps are layered over satellite images or pre-existing digital maps to verify their accuracy. This layering also allows for the integration of topographical data, which can be vital for large or hilly cemeteries. The GIS enables editing and updating of the map as new plots are added or as boundaries change, providing a dynamic, up-to-date representation of the cemetery.

3. Data Entry

Data entry transforms the static map into a comprehensive database. Each plot on the GIS map is assigned a unique identifier. Then, detailed information is entered for each plot: its status (whether it’s available, reserved, or occupied), dimensions, and type (e.g., burial, cremation, mausoleum). For occupied plots, detailed information about the occupants, including names, dates, and any memorial inscriptions, are entered.

This step often involves going through paper records, receipts, and agreements to compile and verify the data. Accuracy is paramount, as this information forms the legal and historical record of the cemetery.

4. GPS Tagging

GPS (Global Positioning System) tagging adds another layer of precision, especially useful in expansive or irregularly shaped cemeteries. The exact geographic location of each plot is tagged by using GPS technology. The paper maps and aerial imagery are then adjusted and consolidated to fix discrepancies. This process not only validates the data entered from maps and records but also corrects any discrepancies by providing pinpoint accuracy.

The GPS coordinates are then integrated into the GIS system, ensuring that the digital map reflects the true physical layout. This is incredibly useful for both management and visitors, allowing for features like “Find a Grave” on digital maps or directing guests to exact plot locations via mobile browsers.

At Chronicle, we call this “Headstone Coordinate Survey”, means we take photos of every headstone with the GPS coordinate and it’s part of our Advanced Mapping service. This step highlights another key aspect of how does cemetery software handle inventory management with precision.

Using the Digital Map for Inventory Management

Once the digital map is created, integrating this map with the cemetery’s management software transforms it into an interactive tool. The system is designed to be updated continuously as plots are sold, reserved, or as new information comes to light. This ongoing process ensures the digital records and maps remain an accurate reflection of the cemetery’s current state.

1. Real-time Updates​

Imagine a live view of the cemetery’s layout where each plot’s status is instantly updated the moment a transaction occurs. This dynamic feature is powered by the software’s ability to communicate with the database in real time.

When a plot is sold or reserved, the system marks this change, automatically switching the plot’s color or symbol on the digital map to reflect its new status. This immediate feedback loop is essential in preventing the sale of a plot to multiple parties and allows staff and visitors to see which plots are available without having to manually check records or make numerous phone calls. This dynamic update capability is a crucial part of how does cemetery software handle inventory management.

2. Detailed Plot Information

By integrating the digital map with a comprehensive database, each plot becomes more than just a piece of land; it transforms into a detailed profile that can be accessed with a simple click. This profile includes not just basic information like dimensions and type, but also customizable fields such as price, historical significance, and even photographs or virtual tours of the plot. This granularity allows for a more informed decision-making process for potential buyers and enables cemetery staff to quickly answer queries with up-to-date information.

3. Reservation and Sales Process

Cemetery Plot Reservation and Sales Process in Chronicle

The integration of sales and reservation processes within the cemetery software streamlines these operations significantly. When a plot is reserved or sold, staff members can manage this entirely through the software interface, triggering a series of automated actions: the plot’s status is updated on the map, relevant financial records are adjusted, and legal documentation such as contracts or receipts is generated.

This automation reduces the potential for human error, speeds up the transaction process, and ensures compliance with legal requirements. These streamlined processes are essential in understanding how does cemetery software handle inventory management efficiently.

4. Customer Interaction

Digital maps with interactive features aren’t just tools for cemetery staff; they’re also accessible to customers through public-facing websites or portals. A great cemetery software will have a user-friendly, easy-to-use portal for public access that connects cemeteries with their community, online. It’s about providing people with better, easier, faster access to cemetery data and services.

Here, individuals can explore available plots at their own pace, view detailed information, and potentially make reservations or purchases online. This level of interaction not only empowers customers but also widens the cemetery’s reach, allowing for transactions to occur outside of traditional office hours without the need for direct staff involvement.

5. Reporting and Forecasting

With a wealth of data at their fingertips, cemetery management can utilize the software for comprehensive reporting and forecasting. By analyzing trends in plot sales, preferences for certain types of burial options, and even tracking cemetery capacity, management can make informed decisions about future pricing strategies, marketing efforts, and potential expansions. These reports can highlight patterns that might not be obvious without in-depth data analysis, facilitating strategic planning and financial management.

Ongoing Maintenance and Updates

Ongoing Maintenance and Updates

The digital map and associated database are living entities within the cemetery’s ecosystem, requiring regular maintenance and updates to ensure their accuracy and usefulness. This includes adding new plots, updating records with newly discovered information, and continually refining the system to adapt to changing needs.

Besides, security is an important part of cemetery software. Security is beyond just the limited access of users, it also includes system updates, encryption, and prevention measures from cyber attacks.

Staff training plays a crucial role in this maintenance, ensuring that everyone understands how to effectively use the system and contribute to its upkeep.

Make sure the system you’re using is always improving and can walk you through the process of using it to your benefit.

Conclusion

Using digital maps and management systems makes running cemeteries easier for staff and families. Regular updates and training keep these tools accurate and helpful for managing everything.

At Chronicle, we offer these modern tools to help our clients. We go beyond what’s expected, providing detailed digital maps and efficient inventory management. Over 400 cemeteries trust us for these services as of mid-2024.

If you want to learn more about how does cemetery software handle inventory management, or if you have any questions, book a demo with us. We’re here to help!