Batesville Maintains Top Position in Quality and Innovation in Funeral Service Insider Casket Survey
BATESVILLE, Ind. – Batesville continues to lead the way in the 2019 Funeral Service Insider Casket Survey, taking the top spot in quality and innovation. Conducted annually by Kates-Boylston, it covers topics of importance to today’s funeral professionals, including trends in selection rooms, the use of digital tools and personalization, contracts, and pricing strategies.
Since its inception about 15 years ago, the casket survey has captured some significant shifts in how funeral directors are conducting their business and their relationship with products, families and suppliers. Declining casket sales and the introduction of technology are two of the biggest changes. But one thing has stayed the same. The quality and craftsmanship of products is one of the most important things in the eyes of the funeral director, and Batesville has received the top quality ranking every year.
“We know funeral directors have choices and we are constantly looking at our products and processes to see how we can be better – for our customers and the families who choose Batesville products,” said Chris Trainor, president of Batesville. One of the ways is with Lean manufacturing.
Batesville was an early adopter of Lean and has successfully used its principles and processes for decades to achieve high quality standards and drive improvement in its business. In 2019, the company added two new experts who are continuing to put the spotlight on quality, using kaizens to drive improvement. Under their leadership, teams have conducted more than 50 kaizen events, with the majority focused on quality.
“While Lean is helping provide a roadmap, it requires strategic investments to stay on the cutting edge and be prepared to serve the next generation,” said Trainor. In the last year, Batesville has added new manufacturing equipment, new paint and finish systems and made improvements at each of its manufacturing facilities. More investments are planned for 2020 to drive quality, safety and performance.
Half of the survey respondents named Batesville as the most innovative company, a position it has held every year. Some of innovations noted by respondents this year are the company’s military caskets, and the diversity of personalization options, including LifeStories® medallions 3-dimensional medallions that can be used on a casket, urn or as a home décor item – with minimal cost and effort.
Batesville, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hillenbrand, Inc. (NYSE: HI), is a recognized leader in the death care industry in North America, offering a comprehensive portfolio of burial and cremation products, memorialization options and innovative technology solutions. For more than 125 years, Batesville has supported licensed funeral professionals in helping families honor the lives of those they love. ® A history of manufacturing excellence, product innovation, superior customer service and reliable delivery helped Batesville become – and remain – a market leader.