Are Paper Records Costing Your Cemetery Money?
A lot of cemetery managers hesitate to move their records online for one simple reason: cost.
There’s no way around it. Migrating cemetery maps and records to a digital database requires a big investment of time and money. Because of this, it’s common to think that analog record-keeping cuts operating expenses. But the cheapest option isn’t always the most cost-effective one.
Here’s something that many cemetery managers overlook: Paper records come with major costs, too.
Most cemeteries operate under strict budgets. Between labor expenses and cemetery upkeep, managers don’t have much wiggle room when bills come due. At CIMS, our number one priority is helping cemeterians run their cemeteries more efficiently. And when budgets are tight, increasing efficiency to cut costs is key. So, here’s the big question we want to pursue: Is investing in digital record-keeping worth it for cemeteries?
Paper-based record systems can cause a lot of headaches for cemetery managers. In this post, we’ll outline some of the hidden expenses that come with analog record-keeping and consider why cemeteries move their maps and records to the cloud.
5 reasons why cemeteries go paperless
Keeping records safe. Simplifying employee responsibilities. Saving time. With the many advantages of paperless cemetery records, it’s no surprise that countless municipal, religious, and private cemeteries have made the switch. While each cemetery manager has their own reason for modernizing their cemetery’s operations, these five are the most popular among our clients.
(Want to see if cemeteries near you have transitioned to an online cemetery database? Follow this link to browse CIMS users in your area.)
1. Protecting cemetery records from harm
It’s always important to have a back-up plan. Paper records—especially very old ones—are susceptible to damage. Migrating physical deeds, maps, and other important documents to the cloud preserves them over time. Even if the original copy experiences wear and tear or gets lost, you’ll have an available version online. Storing important files on the cloud used to be a very contentious subject. Today, all major cloud storage providers, including Amazon Web Services, IBM Cloud, and Microsoft Azure, are highly secure.
2. Making records more accessible for staff
As years pass and interments increase, documents build up, too. No matter how robust your cemetery’s organization system is, digging through large quantities of documents can take hours. Not only does this arduous process interfere with the staff’s ability to promptly help guests, it’s also an inefficient use of staff time. With online records, employees can quickly search for contracts and maps, freeing up time to tackle other important cemetery business.
3. Reducing storage costs
Spring cleaning has its limits at cemeteries. Cemeteries that rely on paper records amass paper records—and these documents can’t be purged unless they’re backed up online. Over the years, storage costs accumulate. File cabinets aren’t free. Renting additional storage space is certainly costly. Going paperless eliminates these costs, allowing cemeterians to reduce their storage expenses and streamline operations.
4. Sharing information with community members
When it comes down to it, most cemetery managers want to do everything they can to serve their communities. Moving records online helps them do just that. Some of the best cemetery management solutions allow cemeteries to share burial records with the public. This feature helps community members seeking information about loved ones as well as genealogists undertaking historical research.
5. Preparing cemeteries for the future
Managing day-to-day operations at a cemetery is hard work. Between comforting guests, fulfilling maintenance requests, and coordinating upcoming burials, there’s not much time to contemplate your cemetery’s future. Nonetheless, planning for the next generation of cemeterians matters. What kind of record-keeping system will they inherit? Transitioning to paperless records helps maintain and protect essential data for future managers.
Secure record-keeping solutions for cemeteries
At CIMS, we believe that protecting your cemetery’s records shouldn’t break the bank. That’s why we’ve created three distinct cemetery management solutions at three distinct price points: CIMS Light, CIMS Gold, and CIMS Platinum. Want to discuss which software best aligns with your cemetery’s needs? Schedule a free demo with one of our CIMS experts.