By Leader Editor Kara Apel & Contributor Jessie Rigney
As a crematory owner, there are already so many things on your mind — is your equipment working, are your staff following procedures, and most importantly … can families trust you?
You may have an ever-present worry about your firm delivering the wrong remains to the wrong family.
That’s where Halcyon comes in. Their software aims to help crematory owners by giving them a set of tools they can use to make sure damaging mistakes don’t happen.
“If I’m a crematory owner, my main concern is liability — that I give the wrong remains to the wrong family. Our software gives that assurance and confidence that it’s the correct remains,” said co-owner Perry Gard. “They can produce a report to their customer that says I know who did everything and at what time, and even where it happened because we track the GPS location. One of our customers says it helps him sleep at night and keeps him off the witness stand.”
Halcyon’s web-based software allows owners and managers to access details about any cremation 24/7 through their smartphone, tablet, or laptop. There’s no longer a need to run to your office in the middle of the night — you can log in and check any step of the process no matter where you are.
The company’s software utilizes QR codes to create a sophisticated body tracking system that increases accountability. To complete a task, staff can opt to use a separate QR code scanner or even easier — the camera on their iPhone or iPad. Every time a checklist item is acknowledged or a QR code is scanned, data is stored about the date, the time, the GPS location, and the operator.
“QR stands for quick response. It’s superior to barcodes, and it’s much faster. It picks it up almost immediately and helps facilitate the entry,” Perry said.
Many crematories do work for other funeral homes. Halcyon’s trade partner portal allows those trade customers to submit and track their service requests and collaborate with the crematory. The crematory can then invoice those trade partners directly from Halcyon.
For pet crematories, Halcyon’s software also comes in handy for collaborating with veterinary clinics. The clinics receive their own login to submit their requests through the system and can even track the progress of the cremation or aquamation, whether the pet cremation is private or communal.
Because of the sensitive and private nature of the work conducted at crematories, Halcyon’s team understands why safe data transmission and storage is so vital.
“We use basically the same security that you use when you’re doing financial transactions, so it’s secure. Nobody can hijack a transaction and see what data is going back and forth. In addition to that, once it’s inside the database, the data is encrypted. In the unlikely event that someone was to be able to get into the database and get the data, they would not be able to decipher the most sensitive information such as Social Security numbers and use that to steal identities,” said co-owner Sara Gard.
For those worried about their tech skills, Halcyon’s software is ready to use within just two business days. The data is backed up in multiple locations, meaning your firm won’t need to hire a server administrator or install updates and patches.
“After our customers use the software for two or three weeks, we usually don’t hear many more questions from them. It’s very easy to use,” Perry said.
Like many businesses within the deathcare profession, Halcyon is also family owned. Because of this, the Gards understand how much is at stake to win over the trust of consumers — and keep it.
“We know what it takes — and it’s a 24-hour job — to run a family business, and we understand the complexity of what our customers are going through,” Sara said. “It’s our reputation that’s on the line, just like their reputation in their community is on the line. So, it’s really important to us that we do the right thing by our customers. We feel it’s a reflection on us personally.”
Brad Kuchnicki, executive director of The Independent Funeral Group and executive director of the East Tennessee Cremation Company, has been using Halcyon since fall 2018 and says their experience has been amazing.
“Not only has it eliminated 30 hours’ worth of paperwork weekly, but it has also allowed us better tracking using GPS, invoicing, record keeping and so much more,” he said.
Greg Rollings, president and CEO of Rollings Funeral Service, says Halcyon is “the perfect tool” for managing funeral homes under his umbrella.
“I searched for years and could not find the unique tools needed for a firm. It is clear that Halcyon was created from the bottom up with many years of input directly from funeral directors’ experiences,” he said.
Michael Wujek, of Wujek-Calcaterra, Inc., calls Halcyon a “home run.”
“We searched long and hard for the right software, and we were so glad to find Halcyon,” Wujek said.
Halcyon has been creating deathcare software for nearly 20 years. Halcyon also partners with many other companies in the industry, including Answering Service for Directors, funeralOne, Bass-Mollett, Messenger, First American, Consolidated Funeral Services, and The Leader.
Want more information on Halcyon’s software and to see firsthand how it works for funeral homes and crematory operators? Visit the Halcyon website to schedule a free demo today.