Maximizing Efficiencies in Catholic Diocesan Cemeteries

Article written by Neil Sherrin, Head of Marketing with PlotBox

Calling all Catholic Diocesan cemeteries! Does your staff spend their days duplicating data entry, taking hours to pull together reports, looking up records or colouring in maps? If you answered yes you’ve got a problem!

Throughout this article we are going to highlight how these inefficiencies can be overcome and make reference to key industry leaders who have taken action to do so, including the Archdiocese of San Francisco, the Diocese of Orange and the Diocese of Stockton.

If you work in a cemetery you may at sometime have felt like a detective, striving to find all the pieces of a puzzle when a family walks in the door. You may have even lost sleep over the worry of making a mistake, we are human after all!

When used correctly, processes should standardize and simplify necessary tasks that keep business running smoothly. Unfortunately, in the cemeteries business it’s often the ‘outdated processes’ being used even though those processes were designed decades ago.

The time has come for cemeteries to embrace change by digitizing cemetery processes and centralize all cemetery records and maps into one place. Why should you move away from ‘the way it has always been done’ and aim to maximize efficiency for your catholic diocese cemeteries?

Firstly, to increase efficiencies in your cemetery processes by up to 75%! Take the step forward by implementing a software system which will act as a virtual filing cabinet, storing all of your documents centrally in one place. If your current records and maps are in multiple systems or only in paper you are probably duplicating data entry, storing tons of paper and photocopying maps or carrying around map books.

Secondly, to protect your cemetery records. We all know that every archivists biggest headache is protecting old historical records and ensuring that the history of the cemetery is preserved for future generations. Relieve those stress related headaches by storing records in a software system which allows you to link unlimited images of maps, contracts or other paper records to a deceased record, deed owner or plot location meaning the old records are safe and searchable.

Finally, to have more time to spend with the families you serve. When a family walks into your office how long do your sales counselors spend doing detective work, searching for lot cards, map books, spreadsheets or filing cabinets? Or writing the same details over and over again in the one meeting?

Wouldn’t it be a more meaningful service to your families if more time could be spent fully  engaged with them as opposed to being in the back office or the photocopy room? If you digitized your documents all of your data would be accessible in one place at the click of a button!

So, where do you start with centralizing your cemetery documents? Start with a vision, where do you want to go? You should know upfront that it’s a process and you must have the mindset to be prepared. It’s about making a commitment and getting the process completed.

The Archdiocese of San Francisco, the Diocese of Orange and the Diocese of Stockton have already taken a step forward by implementing PlotBox software and transitioning to using digital processes in their cemeteries.

Jennifer Prieto, assistant cemetery director at the Diocese of Stockton explained how taking this step forward into the digital age has saved them time and increased efficiency in their cemetery processes. She mentioned that “it’s a quarter of the time it would take for us to get up and go and look.”

Moreover, Kathy Scott, counsellor at the Diocese of Stockton made positive comments about the transition, highlighting how it makes everyday tasks at the cemetery much easier to complete: “if you have incomplete information that you’re trying to fill out, you can easily go into the computer and either find the information you need via plot number, a person’s name, deed holder, name of the deceased, it’s all tied together and that just makes it so much simpler.”

PlotBox is a multi-sided platform which allows all records of a deceased person to be held in one place, linked to the accurate location of their interment or memorial. On one side of the platform Cemeteries/Crematories use PlotBox to manage their daily operations online and in real-time.

On the other interface, families and members of the public can search the records and maps via DiscoverEverAfter, a website designed not only to show a deceased name and date-of-death, but to show a picture of theirmemorial, photographs and videos to tell their story and preserve their legacy.

Learn more at or email [email protected] for further information.