Learn Why Halcyon Platinum is Being Nominated for Funeral Industry Awards
We had the pleasure of interviewing Sara Gard and Perry Gard about their business Halcyon, a funeral home, and crematory management software company. They recently released an impressive new product called Halcyon Platinum which has been selected as one of five finalists for the 2018 NFDA Members Choice Award.
Halcyon is a family-run technology business based in Peachtree City, Georgia just south of Atlanta. They have been innovating and refining their funeral home and crematory management tech for over 15 years and offer a cloud-based management tool that can be accessed from anywhere on any device.
We wanted to learn more about the history and future of Halcyon so we chatted with the founders about their path. You can watch the video interview or read the highlights below!
Connecting Directors: How did Halcyon get its start?
Sara Gard: I was approached by a funeral director who didn’t like any of the mgmt software available. Our first version was PC based. It didn’t take us long to realize all the limitations with a PC-based version – even using remote connections to the PC – so we re-wrote the entire system to be a true web-based system over a decade ago.
CD: What makes Halcyon a different as a funeral home and crematory management company?
SG: There are 3 main things.
- We are totally family owned which is something that a lot of funeral home and crematory owners and operators will appreciate. We feel that the quality of our software and how we treat people is a direct reflection on us personally. We really care about our customers and our product and we work every single day to advance it.
- We do all of our programming. That combined with being truly web-based make us very nimble. When we have new features or improvements to add its not like asking Congress for permission to turn a battleship. When we do an update it’s available immediately without any downtime or effort required by our customers.
- From the start, we have collaborated directly with the individuals who use our software to give us design direction and we continue that to this day. Throughout the years, everyone at Halcyon has spent hours talking to funeral directors and crematory operators and even visiting facilities to understand how the software should be programmed to work best based on how customers run their facility. I don’t think that every management provider can say that all of their developers been inside funeral home or crematory. There is very little separation between our customers and every employee in our company and I think that makes a big difference. Plus we all really love what we do.
CD: Tell us about what Halcyon offers.
SG: We recently found out that our new offering, Halcyon Platinum is one of five finalists for the 2018 NFDA Members Choice Award – formally known as the Innovation Award. We can’t be more excited about that. Platinum combines funeral home and crematory management into one powerful package. Platinum is device responsive and device independent, which means you can run the full system from PCs, Macs, phones or tablets. It has a sleek look and feel while remaining intuitive and easy to learn which has always been a hallmark of ours.
There are so many features to Halcyon. Could talk all day but will try to highlight: handles all case types, inquiry, quote, AN, PN, trade service, trade cremation, pet cremation/aquamation and body tracking for one or multiple locations. Incredibly customizable. Can quickly add locations and/or crematories as you grow without the need to learn or invest in a separate system. one time data entry, forms, financials, reporting, analytics, timesheets, etc. User-friendly options such as customizable Dashboards and a system-wide search tool. The system engages exciting new technologies that have not been seen before in deathcare service, such as voice data entry and QR code body tracking.
QR code scanning from either an inexpensive handheld scanner or you can use your phone’s camera for off-site scanning. We collect a lot of information each time the body is moved such as current time, GPS location and operator. Crematories can also create checklists that must be completed before each movement. The goal being to maximize accountability and limit liability concerns.
We have family and trade partner collaboration features. Arrangement Assistant for family arrangement collaboration in and out of the office. More and more families are becoming comfortable and/or expect to interact with a computer. Our Arrangement Assistant feature enables families to login to a secure site to either provide information prior to visiting the funeral home for the arrangement, provide information that was not available during the arrangement process or even complete the entire arrangement online without physically entering the funeral home. We have a trade partner portal which allows your trade partners to login to their secure dashboard and enter service requests which sends an automatic notification to the funeral home or crematory. The dashboard allows the partner to complete forms and see the various stats including which cremations are either in progress or complete.
We are focused on making the best management system available. So we take a hub an spoke approach to integrating with a growing list of complementary deathcare service providers. Customers can choose their preferred partners and it allows us to quickly adjust to new and changing technologies. We integrate with website providers, answering services, stationery, Quickbooks Online, DocuSign and others coming soon.
CD: What is next for Halcyon? Thanks for talking with us!
SG: We are really proud of our software and look forward to rolling out more new and exciting features in the near future. There is no way to convey the awesomeness of our product in a few minutes so I invite everyone to contact us for a demo so we can show you the details. Our website is www.halcyondcms.com or call us at 770-877-1158. We would also love it if you would consider voting for us for the NFDA Innovation Award
beginning August 1st through the 14th!