Gorder Communique, June 2018
New, Wider Dressing Table
Junkin’s Wider Body Dressing Table Now Available!
Made of sturdy, lightweight anodized aluminum, the Junkin Dressing Table allows the user to adjust tabletop heights at both ends. The top is made of stain-resistant laminate and resists distorting or sagging. Also includes four swivel-locking wheels with brake.
DIMENSIONS: Length: 78″ Width: 28″
Heights: 32-1/2″ – 37″
Weight Bearing Capacity: 800 lbs
$975 (+ tax & shipping)
(compare to Ferno 36W w/500 lbs wbc, @ $1846.00)
Iowa Is Considering Some Of The Country’s Toughest Standards On Morticians.
Some Funeral Directors Aren’t Happy.
Funeral Business Advisor: Read Article
Small Business: The Heart and Soul of the Funeral Industry By Katie Hill, President & CEO, Mortuary Lift Company
The bedrock of the American death-care industry is the small business owner. I’m one of them. As a group, we share common traits. We are active in our communities. We have chosen a career with heart. We look out for one another. And the people we serve are far more than “customers.”
A recent example characterizes the nature of death-care professionals. The daughter of my long-time sales manager, Brenda Stratton, embarked on a 4,000-mile bike journey to raise funds and awareness for cancer. A noble effort, for sure. Brenda’s advice as she saw her daughter off: “If you have trouble anywhere along the route, find a funeral home. They will help you.” Lately, however, I’ve become troubled by intruders in our tight-knit industry. Maybe you’ve experienced them, too. Offshore manufacturers siphoning dollars from our American marketplace. Those are the dollars that threaten our ability to pay a satisfactory wage and make improvements in our businesses to keep “American-made” the assurance of quality.
My business, Mortuary Lift Company in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, has a staff of seven. I don’t think of them as employees. They are like family and I treat them that way. I suspect you could say the same. We believe that employees who are compensated well and made to feel valued take pride in their work. The result? A high-quality, reliable product or service. I know that every time I reach into my own pocket to insure my staff and their families, make a 401k match and provide generous paid vacations, I’m not only rewarding a loyal group, but also reinforcing their commitment that our lifts exceed our customers’ expectations. Isn’t that the American way?
I believe my company, like yours, offers advantages that are not always found in products manufactured overseas and imported in America.
I’m proud that when a funeral home or crematory purchases a Mortuary Lift, they are receiving a product that is custom-built to their unique needs and installed by one of our own, not a serial number on a foreign shelf. And that last-minute changes can be made to specifications. Stan Spitler, Superintendent at Ferncliff Cemetery, Funeral Home, Arboretum and Crematory in Springfield, Ohio, puts it this way. “Because Katie is a funeral director herself, she understands our industry firsthand. Her experience ensured that our workflow is efficient, and her insights saved me money. The Ultimate 1000 Lift was made to meet our needs, and it does so perfectly.”
I’m proud of our fair working conditions and high standards. With an imported product, purchasers have no control over the foreign labor standards in the countries producing those goods. Would they meet the high standards of US manufacturers? They likely wouldn’t meet mine. Or the guarantee we provide.
I’m proud of the one-on-one relationships that we nurture with our customers. We recognize, for example, that they don’t have a typical 9-to-5 workday, so we make our customer service accessible into the evenings. Our customers appreciate that typically they deal with just one of our associates who manages the many details. As Jon Wilson remarks about our associate who coordinated his purchase, “If problems occur down the road, I can call my friend Brenda. Who truly feels like a friend.”
Importantly, I’m proud of our quality and the significance we place on ensuring value in a customer’s investment with us. We make our products with no built-in obsolescence. There are 50-year-old units still in good operation. Our customers buy it once, buy it right and can be done with it. Jon Wilson of Oakey & Son Funeral Home in Salem, Virginia, tells us, “I have a friend with a 20-year-old Mortuary Lift system and he’s never had a single issue with it. That’s incredible. Even if competitors would have been half as much, I still would have purchased a system from Mortuary Lift. The quality is outstanding and the service unmatched.”
My story isn’t unique. It’s the proud story of every small business in our industry. So let’s make a commitment to ourselves and each other to stand firm together. To proudly remain the backbone of the American death-care industry. To Buy American whenever we can and keep our dollars flowing domestically. It is the practical way to ensure the best care for the families we serve, as well as our own.
~ Reprinted from May 2018 Nomis Publications, Inc. Funeral Home & Cemetery News