Cremation Services, Furnaces, RetortsCremation Systems Helped Sullivan Funeral Care Increase Cremation Service with An In-House Crematory

Background/Business Problem

Despite the growing acceptance of cremation, funeral homes are not modernizing at a pace that meets market demands. The funeral homes that do offer cremation do so off-site. This logistical challenge plus lack of general knowledge about building codes, zoning compliance, and how to purchase and install a cremation chamber, is a massive barrier for funeral home owners.

Such was the problem for Mark Sullivan, owner of Sullivan Funeral Care. He knew he had a solid business case to invest in a crematory because his off-site cremation service was steadily growing. With cremation being a core part of his revenue stream, he knew that in order to reduce costs, increase profitability, and efficiency, he knew the only way to achieve this was to bring cremation in-house.

Why does in-house and on-site cremation make such a big difference? One reason is that if the deceased family member did not leave a will, it is difficult and painful for families to make arrangement decisions during their time of grief. Having to transport the remains 45 minutes each way further complicates the timetable and logistical planning. If off-site cremation was already gaining traction, Mark knew an in-house, on-site crematorium would continue to grow the market share of his cremation business.

Mark’s Approach to Addressing the Problem

So Mark started out on a search for the best cremation equipment company for his funeral home. Since mortuary school did not teach about cremation, it was essential for Mark to do his own due diligence starting from the ground up. He wanted to know how each company operated from top to bottom, front to back; every single detail about the crematory and how it would work with his business.

That search led him to Cremation Systems. Cremation Systems is an arm of Armil CFS, which was founded in 1968 to manufacture high-temperature industrial process furnaces and equipment. Originally serving markets such as aerospace, rail, investment casting, and forging, Armil founded Cremation Systems to offer the CFS 2300 pet and human cremation systems. It is the most fuel-efficient and user-friendly retort on the market, with the lowest operating cost.

Why Cremation Systems?

Cremation Systems had already been on Mark’s radar because of their user-friendly website and remote retort diagnostics via the internet capability. Not to mention their history of building furnace equipment and knowing how to insulate a crematory and design refractory linings. These guys were product experts. What cemented Mark’s decision was:

  • Cremation Systems’ hot hearth technology, which eliminates the issues of body fluid leakage
  • Hearth comprised of tile instead of cast refractory, which is more durable and less down time for maintenance
  • Blowers being located on the back of the machine, which gives them a longer lifespan by avoiding wear and tear of heat exposure when installed on top and also causes them to be quieter than typical blowers
  • Cremation Systems cremation chambers pull combustion air from the outside via a duct, reducing noise and increasing safety because they are not taking too much oxygen or gas out of the room
  • The ability of Cremation Systems to not only sell the product but also install it; a feature many competitors neglect
  • Responsiveness and ability of technicians to travel to the crematory site for repairs
  • Decorative retort stack cap add-ons that can be placed on any stack to enhance the appearance of the cremation chamber

Decorative retort stack cap add-on

On top of an exceptional product and customer service, Cremation Systems sells and installs its cremation chamber and accessories for just over $130,000. Competitors charge upwards of $250,000. All of these differentiators, plus Cremation Systems’ vast industry knowledge gleaned from its parent company Armil CFS, made Mark’s decision easy.

What Happened After Installation

After Mark’s crematory was installed in late September 2018, he immediately began seeing an increase in the number of customers who chose his firm because he offered the only in-house crematory in his area. He was the only crematory owner in his county. An added bonus of using a Cremation Systems cremation chamber is that Mark’s fuel usage remains incredibly low. Fuel use ranges from $19/case to $35/case, averaging around $20-$25.

Mark is proud to be able to say that he can offer grieving families a simple, time-efficient, and low-cost method of honoring their loved ones. He also has the peace of mind that should a mechanical issue arise, the Cremation Systems team will remotely diagnose the issue and recommend a solution or send an experienced technician to his location to perform the repair if necessary.

After the success of Sullivan Funeral Care, Cremation Systems continues marketing its crematories to entrepreneurs and funeral directors seeking to enter the cremation business or expand funeral service offerings. Cremation Systems remains one of the top sellers of human and pet crematories because of their superior product, customer service, ability to teach the operation of retort with staff instead of subcontractors, and capability of remote retort diagnostics and operation via the internet.