For hundreds of years cemeteries have relied on paper records to track sales and burials. Now software companies like webCemeteries offer another option–to digitize those records and store them on the cloud, where they can be accessed remotely. Creating a digital copy of their records is one of the most important things a cemetery can do to preserve history, protect themselves against data loss, and provide better service to the families in their care.

What is the Cloud Anyway?

To those without a software background, the cloud might be an unfamiliar concept, or one you’ve heard in passing but don’t really understand. Basically, the cloud is a place to store files. Often if you create a document you’ll save it on your computer, or if you take a picture it’ll be stored on your phone. Because the files are saved on a particular device, if something happens to the device they may be lost forever.

When you save something to the cloud, it’s like saving something on the internet itself, instead of the device that created the file. With a link and the right log-in credentials, you can access those files from any computer or mobile device. That means multiple people from the same company can use them at the same time, and they won’t be lost if your computer crashes or is infected by a virus.

Many software solutions, such as webCemeteries, are based in the cloud. That means they can be accessed by any device with an internet connection, rather than being limited to an office computer with a program installed. When you migrate to one of these systems, your paper records will be digitized and imported so they are accessible from the cloud, and all new records will be stored there too. Cloud based recordkeeping has several important benefits specific to the cemetery profession.

Preserve Important Historical Records

Many cemeteries in the United States have physical record books that date back to the early 1900’s or late 1800’s–sometimes even earlier! These documents create a historical record of everyone buried there, which may include historical figures, war veterans, politicians, and even celebrities or local heroes. In addition to helping you run your cemetery, they may be of great interest to those researching history or genealogy. Digitizing your records preserves these documents and can even make the information they contain easily accessible to the public through an online burial records search on your website.

Paper is fragile and breaks down over time, especially with repeated handling. As paper yellows and ink fades, your original records become harder and harder to read. Handwriting can also be difficult to interpret, especially cursive. Digitizing your records preserves history for future generations. In addition to creating a searchable, easy to read database, you can also archive scans or photographs of your original records on the cloud so they are still accessible even as they age.

Protect Your Records From Disaster

In addition to slowly degrading, paper records are also vulnerable to sudden destruction. Anything from a freak accident like a building fire or a sprinkler malfunction to a natural disaster like a tornado or a hurricane can wipe out decades – or centuries – of records with no hope of recovery. Paper can be torn, burned, soaked, or simply misplaced. Once paper records become illegible, there is nothing you can do to regain that information unless you have a backup.

But when your records are stored on the cloud, they can be recovered even if your cemetery office is damaged. Because they aren’t saved on any particular device, you’ll still be able to access them if something happens to your office computer – whether it’s infected by a virus, crashes unexpectedly, or is physically destroyed. Software companies know security is essential, and their expert teams back up data frequently. You can rest easily knowing your data is safe and secure, and you don’t have to hire an internal IT specialist to protect it.

Creating a digital copy of their records is one of the most important things a cemetery can do to preserve history, protect themselves against data loss, and provide better service to the families in their care.

Decrease Burden On Staff and Provide Better Service

Paper records aren’t easy to search. That means it can take cemetery staff a lot of time to page through them to find information they’re looking for. With the rising interest in genealogy, some cemeteries receive frequent requests for burial locations. Fulfilling those requests can pull busy staff away from other responsibilities. And if a family member stops by the office to ask where someone is buried, they may have to wait for several minutes while someone looks this up for them.

But when records are digitized to the cloud, they are indexed and become easily searchable, so burial locations can be found in seconds. Any staff with a mobile device linked to your cemetery management software can access these records from anywhere. That means your grounds staff can help families find loved ones without having to direct them to the office, showing how much you value their precious time. If you choose to add a burial record search to your website, anyone can find this information themselves, along with a cemetery map and walking directions to each grave. This allows you to provide outstanding service even outside of normal office hours, and makes a great first impression on visitors who may decide they want to buy property there as well.

The cloud can also help you streamline work orders, provide a smoother sales process, and analyze your cemetery through robust data driven reports. When staff need less time to complete repeated tasks, they have more time to spend connecting with families and serving those in their care.

In Summary

Many cemeteries have been entrusted with decades – if not centuries – of history. Uploading your records to the cloud preserves that history for future generations, and allows your cemetery to operate even more efficiently than before. Your staff and everyone you serve will benefit.

Elevate your processes
Elevate your processes

You can manage it all with webCemeteries!

Meet our Account Manager

Patrick McGee, Account Manager, has 8 years experience in account management, where he was responsible for helping customers throughout the USA adopt software into their day-to-day operations. He has a degree in broadcasting and worked at a major radio station in Philadelphia for nearly 5 years. Patrick enjoys helping cemeteries transform how they serve their families with technology.

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What are cemeterians saying about webCemeteries?

This [website] project was quite an odyssey with plenty of twists and turns. The webCemeteries website design team weathered the storm. I think it’s more than fair to say that without their efforts, we would not have gotten this over the finish line…and with such an excellent outcome.

Mark J. DePalma
Forest Lawn Buffalo