In invitation to pricing abuse rebutted

FCA’s article with the above title is probably the most idealistic and most unrealistic view on funeral service which I have ever read. The argument to justify, or shall I say blame, the number of funeral homes on high markups is just as ludicrous. FCA took numbers they did not understand, and spins them in a way that gives the opposite effect of what they propose. The notion, that in rural areas a funeral home does not expect the business to be full time, is untrue. Let‘s take Iowa, (a state you suggest to be way out of line) a rural state-packed with small towns, most firms in the state of Iowa already cover multiple cities so that the business is full time. I would venture an educated guess that the number of firms operating in Iowa is a lot closer to the number of FCA suggested funeral homes “needed” , than the number of funeral home “locations” (many of which are simply “viewing” chapels) in Iowa. Firms are able to do this because they have consolidated staff, prep facilities and vehicles, so that grieving families and friends can be served in the comfort of their own community. FCA’s ideal number of funeral homes suggests that, in an ideal world, the consumer must cover the funeral director-that’s the unrealistic part. The consumer isn’t here to cover us; the funeral home must serve the consumer. In any rural area of the country, the funeral is a community event and will be entrusted to the local funeral director who has invested in that community. To suggest that we should have less funeral homes, forces the consumer to travel to get funeral service, sends their money out of the local economy and forces funeral and visitation goers to travel as well. Suddenly, the funeral is no longer a community event and the consumer becomes a number. What does this invite? Pricing abuse? Not at all. It invites competition, keeping prices in check. When the consumer has a choice of funeral homes, the consumer then dictates what takes place. If funeral homes operated with the formula suggested by FCA, competition would be virtually nonexistent and the funeral homes could then dictate what takes place; Herein would lie the invitation to pricing abuse? FCA’s suggestion of efficiency certainly does not equate with effectiveness. Josh Slocum’s response to Don also is only correct in the shoe store comparison when he suggests that with more funeral homes, each has less volume. Josh gets two strikes on the rest of his response. He says you can only sell one funeral to each customer. When we conduct a funeral, we don’t serve the deceased-we serve the whole family. If Jane and Bill are a couple, I can sell a funeral to Jane for herself, her husband, her parents, her in laws, her siblings, her children, etc. You get the point. Funeral homes can and do induce the same person/family to come back. The only way to pay the bills is to provide better service and win over each consumer and the community. Funeral consumers aren’t stupid. When a funeral director serves the community in a manner that gives value to the funeral, funeral consumers are willing to pay for that service they value. The bills get paid by providing effective funeral service and being competitive. Effectiveness will win over efficiency anytime. My suggestion to FCA is therefore to remove the “An Oversaturated Market” article from your website. It doesn’t hold water. Burke Johnson

About the author

Author description olor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Sed pulvinar ligula augue, quis bibendum tellus scelerisque venenatis. Pellentesque porta nisi mi. In hac habitasse platea dictumst. Etiam risus elit, molestie