Contributors Funeral Industry News Ryan Thogmartin

Exclusive: Genesis Casket Company Explains Simplified Pricing Structure, Distribution Strategy and Relationship with Gestamp North America

November 16, 2011
CDFuneralNews

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Exclusive: Genesis Casket Company Explains Simplified Pricing Structure, Distribution Strategy and Relationship with Gestamp North America

Genesis Casket Company is alive and moving full speed ahead. After an enormous “buzz” creating NFDA convention the company is press forward with their strategic growth plan.

We had an opportunity to interview Genesis Casket Company (GCC) CEO Tony Colson, and Vice President of Sales and Marketing Joe Weigel. I would like to openly thank both Tony and Joe for allowing us to conduct this interview and for openly answering all of our questions.

I have posted the audio of the interview below (we had a few technical issues during the interview so beware the sound levels are dramatically louder when I talk then when Tony or Joe speak) as well as a transcribed overview of some of the highlights and more important information.

The interview opens with Tony talking about the success of the NFDA Convention. With such a large number of attendees this was a great year for GCC to launch. The traffic through the GCC booth was robust. Funeral Directors were very interested in the product, they asked a lot of questions, as well as provided great feedback, which has already begun being implemented into the casket design and functionality.

Here are some of the questions and highlights taken from the audio recording (posted below):

What are some of the specifics that set Genesis Caskets apart from others in the industry?

GCC: The most apparent things FD’s commented on and something we worked very hard on is the luster, brilliance, and over all finish on a Genesis Casket. We have invested heavily in the technologies that we are using. As people saw in the manufacturing video at NFDA we are primarily robotic applying our finish that is as progressive of a finish as most automotive grade Class A finishes are. The luster and brilliance of our finish really resonated with everyone at the NFDA convention.

The other thing that is really different about a Genesis Casket is how the shell is constructed. We are doing everything in round corner. A typical round corner casket has 4 welds and the bottom weld of the shell. We only have 2, because we have a front component and a back component we call a clamshell that constitutes our shell. We have taken the welds down 40%. This is an improvement in integrity and sleek of the product and reduces probability of entrance from graveside elements.

I have noticed that there is no Cap panel brace on the GC product. Is this correct?

GC: That is correct, we call it our “Cap Check Hinge System”. We have taken a page out of the automotive sector to have controlled resistance to the range of motion of the cap, and that is designed to eliminate the cap brace. In our preliminary discovery we did in our early product development stage funeral directors expressed a dislike for the cloth going around the body of the casket being cut and having to content with that cap brace. That’s what led us to the insight to eliminate it (the cap brace).

What is your product line?

GCC: At this time our plan is to produce primarily 2 varieties of metal caskets; 18ga Steel and 304 Chrome Nickel Stainless Steel. We also have a complementary line of Woods. Specifically we will have 24 metal caskets, and we will have 9 wood caskets, so a total product assortment of 33 products. (Please listen to audio for complete product line breakdown. Product line starts at the 9:00 minute mark)

On your website it states the wood caskets are made with “global wood”. What does this mean?

GCC: It is no mystery; we are simply sourcing that wood from China. Now, what we do with our product line as we go forward will really be determined by the needs and responses from the marketplace. We have innovations planned for the next 4 years for the existing line, what we do with new model development, other materials, ect, we are open to that discovery from what the market produces.

What is your Product Price Points?

GCC: There is complexity in creating a high quality and low cost product and that was the hardest part of determining our price point, so I will try to explain this so it can be understood (sarcasm).

Basically if it is an 18ga (regardless of shell) it is: $899

If it is brushed (regardless of the shell) it is: $999

We have a simplified pricing program. There are no discounts, no rebates; we have one price for every customer.

Will you be offering product on consignment?

GCC: No we are not. We believe at the competiveness that Genesis offers and the overall value and being a new company obviously cash is important to us so consignment is not something we are prepared to offer at this time.

Will you be offering product to third party distributors?

GCC: Our distribution plan and model contemplates selling directly to licensed funeral directors and funeral homes. We own our distribution, so we have our own facilities, our own trucks, and our own drivers; we are not contracting those services to a third party carrier. We believe those relationships are too important to delegate to a third party carrier.

Will you be distributing to the Western part of the United States?

GCC: No, our plan at this point is to focus on the central to mid western portions of the United States (near term) and as we look into 2012 migrating East. Not focusing on the West at this point. We realize there are a number of large customers to the West who purchase in truck loads from a number of suppliers, if there are those types of customers who would like to purchase truckloads from us we are certainly open to that.

Why should Funeral Homes and Funeral Directors Buy Product from GCC?

GCC: Genesis is worthy of consideration by a customer or prospect is because of highest quality, fantastic price, great value, and world class delivery service, all the things that we think funeral directors are looking for at the end of the day. Know they have a good product at a good price at the time they need it and that it’s reliable, and that is the Genesis promise and we back it up with a no excuses guarantee. If we fail in any part of those things mentioned we replace that product FREE.

One comment that was also made toward the end of the interview was that the product that was on display at the NFDA convention were not proto types. To hear this discussed please skip to the 21:30 mark of the interview.

Also, if you would like to listen to CEO Tony Colson talk about the relationship between Genesis and parent company Gestamp, skip to the 22:50 mark.

It was a pleasure to talk with Tony and Joe. I am excited to see a new casket product introduced to the industry that uses some of the latest technology and manufacturing processes.

For more information on Genesis Casket company, please visit: http://www.genesiscasket.com

Please listen to the interview in its entirety below.