Future Picture of Death Care Industry Glimpsed at in the Formation of DCIS Alliance Last Week

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Where the death care industry is headed in its delivery of information and services was made apparent last week with the announcement of the formation of DCIS, Death Care Internet Services Alliance.

The DCIS Alliance brings together four major high profile Internet information and service providers in a sharing of sources agreement that portends the direction the death care industry may be headed for in the coming decade.

Robert W Ward, who heads New Concept Consultants and William Cribbs, founder of Obituary Central, announced the Alliance only a day before combined services began being provided to consumers on the Net.

Cribbs’ ObituaryCentral.com and its sister website ObitLinksPage.com have been mainstays of the Internet for several years. Both portals provide the consumer and industry professionals with vast resource capabilities in the areas of obituary, memorial and tribute publishing and research; genealogy investigation; funeral and cemetery services market by market search.

New Concept Consultants, a death care marketing and sales organization, is contributing its two websites The Final Arrangements Network and The Cemetery Registry to the alliance.

The Final Arrangements Network, referred to as “the Library of Congress of Death Care” by one Insurance Company executive, has been providing consumers with information, guidance and education on funeral, cremation and cemetery service final arrangements for several years and is the custodian of the Cemetery Registry database of cemetery property for sale in the US and Canada by private owners.

NCC’s The Cemetery Registry, TCR, is the home of the database that bears its name, containing thousands of US and Canadian cemetery properties for sale and offers from consumers to buy. In addition, TCR offers funeral and burial goods for sale including; caskets, cremation urns, grave markers direct to the consumer.

“There is a real need for synergy in the death care industry and this is the beginning of it.” Stated Ward when asked why the alliance in the first place.

“The consumers have already begun changing their interaction with our industry and we are just trying to catch up with them.” Ward said. “They, the consumers, expect access to precise information on funeral homes, cemeteries, cremation, genealogy, obituaries, etc. when they need it. They have come to know this intensity of information resources is available to them from everybody else that vies for their patronage and this alliance and those to come will hopefully satisfy that expectation from the death care industry.” He added.

According to Ward, the alliance with Mr. Cribbs’ companies was a necessity not a convenience. “If you could see number of people who daily bombard us for information on where to get funeral and cremation services, cemetery property for sale, genealogy, caskets, urns, you name it they are asking, you would want to go and locate the biggest and best providers of those services and information you could find, if you planned to stay in this business for the future. We got lucky when we found Mr Cribbs and his company and are extremely excited about what it means to our capabilities to assist our clients from here on out.” Ward stated.

Cribbs remarked, “I am pleased to ally Obituary Central with these industry leaders and look forward to DCIS meeting the needs of those who have suffered the loss of their loved ones, as well as those who are researching their family roots.”

The alliance formed by NCC and Obituary Central is not new to the death care industry. Large, intense concentrations of death care services and information have been available on the Internet before. What appears different here is that the alliance itself is not contingent on large industry participation in order to fund it.

The closest example of what Ward and Cribbs have formed and the largest such portal on the Internet ever for the death care industry was Heavenly Door, which went out of business several years ago after spending nearly $29 million in development and operating costs.

“We studied that case, i.e. Heavenly Door, when we first thought about The Final Arrangements Network’s function back in 2000, before it ever got off the ground. The problem with HD was it banked on a large participation from the industry to fund it. The industry wasn’t and to be honest still isn’t ready to embrace the Internet as a tool in its marketing and mission statement.” Ward confided.

“Both our operations and the ones Bill has been running since 1999 don’t depend on the industry to stay in business. The consumer is making the call and they really control a majority of the $80 Billion a year, this industry will see spent in the coming decade. If service providers only knew how much of the business was going to be determined via the internet, as the starting line for who gets the business, we probably wouldn’t have to spend so much time and effort finding the resources and providers, the consumers are coming to us to help them get.” Ward said. “We could concentrate on helping the providers make sure they were there when their services and products were needed. That, unfortunately, is several years away for most death care industry companies. In the meantime DCIS will concentrate on getting the resource information to the consumer and hopefully add other members to our Alliance who can help satisfy the consumers hunger for market specific death care information.” Ward concluded.

For More Information:

Email: finalarrangementsnetwork@chartermi.net

Principal’s Background Information

RW Ward, Founder New Concept Consultants

Essexville, Michigan, USA

Mr Ward heads NCC, which owns The Final Arrangements Network, The Cemetery Registry and is a Senior Partner in the Limited Liability Company Wisdom Technologies, LLC. He writes and studies marketing and consumer trends in the death care industry and mature adult markets around the world. His industry experience includes some of the world's largest death care providers and education services for seniors.

Email: info@obitcentral.com

Bill Cribbs, Founder, Obituary Central, Obituary Links Page

Port Neches, Texas, USA

Mr Cribbs, an avid genealogist and webmaster, has been a leader in online genealogy reference since 1998 upon the creation of Obituary Links Page and helps many researchers in their quest to find obituaries and burial locations for their loved ones.


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