Matthews Aurora Funeral Solutions Shares Integration Update

September 14, 2017
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PITTSBURGH, PA — Matthews Aurora Funeral Solutions today announced an update of key activities for its ongoing integration of Aurora Casket Company. According to Matthews Memorialization Group President Steve Gackenbach, “We are pleased to share some important integration milestones Matthews Aurora has achieved as we reach the two-year anniversary of the acquisition. During this time, we have been keenly focused on offering our funeral home customers the highest quality products, growth-oriented programs, and exceptional customer service. As we said from the beginning, we continue to do all of this with a particular focus on ensuring we are providing seamless service throughout the integration process.”

Key integration highlights:

Over the last two years, Matthews Aurora launched a number of strategic, business-building programs to all of its funeral home customers across the country, including P3® Casket Price Protection with Homesteaders, BeRemembered.com®, the I’ll Remember You® cremation marketing program and the Matthews Children’s Foundation philanthropy program. The company also recently launched an integrated cremation products catalog and a Windows® version of its popular Catalog App digital merchandising tool, allowing funeral homes to use the program on their PCs in addition to their tablets.

Last year, the company announced improvements to its product line, including upgrades and enhancements to ensure its casket products are of the highest quality. Enhancements include offering the more popular 60/40 cut for its half couch caskets, improved locking mechanisms on both its wood and metal caskets, standardized insert panel sizing for ease of ordering, and other upgrades to ensure better overall fit and finish.

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Earlier this year, Matthews Aurora completed the consolidation of its hardwood casket line to its longtime production facility in York, Pennsylvania, where the company has invested in significant process and equipment upgrades in order to continue producing the industry’s highest quality hardwood, veneer and all-wood-construction caskets. As part of its previously-announced ongoing commitment to its manufacturing plant in Aurora, Indiana, Matthews Aurora has begun to make multi-million dollar investments in that facility as well. Aurora plant upgrades include a state-of-the-art paint system and numerous layout, automation and process improvements to ensure high product quality. As the company implements these upgrades, it will experience a temporary reduction in production at the Aurora facility. As a result, some 20-gauge steel casket production will transition to its other existing manufacturing facilities in Monterrey, Mexico and Richmond, Indiana. After the improvements are completed, Matthews Aurora intends to restore sales levels of products made in Aurora, and the company expects to offer the majority of employees an opportunity to be re-hired at its facility in Aurora, Indiana. The company has also made significant investments in its service center network, the industry’s largest, in order to ensure that Matthews Aurora offers the most service-focused and efficient distribution operation in the funeral industry.

“We continue to be committed to helping our customers grow their businesses, and to helping the families they serve move from grieving to remembrance. Matthews Aurora is also deeply committed to the funeral industry and to our customer partnerships. The work we’ve done over the last two years has enhanced our product quality and ensures we’re offering the industry’s best solutions and service.” said Matthews Aurora President Thomas Pontone.

Matthews International Corporation is a global provider of brand solutions, memorialization products and industrial automation solutions. The SGK Brand Solutions segment is a leader in the delivery of brand development, activation and deployment services that help build our clients’ brands and consumers’ desire for them. The Memorialization segment is a leading provider of memorialization products, including memorials, caskets and cremation equipment, primarily to cemetery and funeral home customers that help families move from grief to remembrance. The Industrial Technologies segment designs, manufactures and distributes marking, coding and industrial automation technologies and solutions. We have more than 10,000 employees in more than 25 countries on six continents that are committed to delivering the highest quality products and services.

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