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College of Funeral Home Management

      
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All courses are taught by Todd Van Beck, CFuE. Students will receive the Deming Manual, a Quality Assurance Manual and several additional instruction manuals.

 

Friday, July 17

2:00 - 5:30 p.m.
Registration and Check-in

 

4:30 - 5:00 p.m.
Freshman Orientation

 

5:00 - 6:00 p.m.
University Reception

 

6:00 p.m.
University Dinner

 

 

Saturday, July 18

8:00 - 9:00 a.m.
Breakfast

 

9:00 - 10:30 a.m.
Identification of Management: Introduction
This college begins with an in-depth examination of the quality service theory of quality guru Dr. W. Edwards Deming. Dean Todd Van Beck worked directly with Deming and uses his approach as the foundation of this college.

Dr. Deming was a quality assurance expert who was hired and then fired by the Big Three automobile makers in Detroit, and who then subsequently traveled to Japan, where his methods of ensuring total quality service are still used today. This introductory program walks you step by step through the Deming system and covers the following:

  • spontaneous attitude of management
  • cycle of professionalism
  • momentum of management

 

10:30 - 11:00 a.m.
Break

 

11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Identification of Management: Introduction (cont’d)
This session will continue the introduction to Deming’s principles and will also include a discussion of the psychology of the funeral and basic grief management techniques.

 

12:30 - 1:30 p.m.
Lunch

 

1:30 - 3:00 p.m.
Identification of Management: The 15 Steps
We’ll examine Deming’s 15 steps for creating quality management and explore examples of how to use these steps to effectively improve the management of the funeral home and/or cemetery.

 

3:00 - 3:30 p.m.
Break

 

3:30 - 5:00 p.m.
Identification of Management: The Problem Rules, PCDA and the Seven Deadly Sins
This session will conclude the “Identification of Management” section.

First, we’ll take a look at what Deming called the Problem Rules. Deming states that most of the problems encountered in any business are not the fault of employees but of management.

Next, the class will walk through the PDCA (Plan, Do, Check, Act) exercise. PDCA provides a wellspring of new ideas and future activities for your company and creates definitive action on the part of the entire organization. It shakes the tree and says that we are not doing business as usual.

Finally, we’ll examine Deming’s Seven Deadly Sins of Management. If any one of these sins are present, your company may already be in trouble.

 

5:00 p.m.
Dinner

 

7:00 - 9:00 p.m.
Annual Sports Tournament
Join your ICCFAU colleagues for some friendly competition in basketball, volleyball or softball, depending on the weather.

 

 

Sunday, July 19

8:00 - 9:00 a.m.
Breakfast

 

9:00 - 10:30 a.m.
Application of Management: Introduction
To make Deming’s principles come alive in your funeral home or cemetery, you need to examine and apply two extremely important issues: mission and quality.

First, what is the mission of your funeral home or cemetery? Why do you get up and go to work? What mission are you set upon and does your staff understand where you are going?

Second, what is quality? It is just perception or is there a deeper aspect to it? Most important, how can you as a leader apply it to make your management goals, hopes and dreams come true?

 

10:30 - 11:00 a.m.
Break

 

11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Application of Management: Staff Development
What is the greatest resource you have? People! What is the greatest pain in the neck you have? That’s right. People!

This session applies formal staff development training so you as the manager can delegate and include everyone in your future vision for your operation. You’ll receive training and handouts on:

  • hiring and firing
  • staff meeting agendas and programs
  • employee evaluation forms and procedures
  • funeral service and cemetery vocabulary list for use in new employee orientations

 

12:30 - 1:30 p.m.
Lunch

 

1:30 - 3:00 p.m.
Application of Management: A “How To” Approach
At this point, we’ll stop and examine the “How To” series of management application programs Todd Van Beck has developed over the past 30 years. This is basically a paint-by-numbers process, a blueprint for instituting the programs you would like to use. Change can be difficult, but this process helps create a low-stress environment for you and your staff as you introduce these new programs. Among the programs we’ll cover:

  • calming upset clients
  • dealing with stress
  • funeral service ethics
  • telephone etiquette
  • telephone shopping program

 

3:00 - 3:30 p.m.
Break

 

3:30 - 5:00 p.m.
Application of Management: A “How To” Approach (cont’d)
We’ll continue with “how to” approaches to numerous issues, including:

  • client-centered funeral arrangementsu time management
  • funeral service suggestion program
  • communicating the value of tribute
  • value/benefit ratio program
  • and more.

 

5:00 p.m.
Dinner

 

 

Monday, July 20

8:00 - 9:00 a.m.
Breakfast

 

9:00 - 10:30 a.m.
Implementation of Management: Introduction
At the halfway point in the curriculum, we enter the implementation phase, i.e., your action plan. The earlier material covered what goes on inside your company. This material will cover what is happening outside your company, what you are doing to be visible in your community and how you can enhance your services to the public in an economical manner.

 

10:30 - 11:00 a.m.
Break

 

11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Implementation of Management: Funeral Home Advisory Board
The Funeral Home Advisory Board is a type of focus group that does not cost anything to implement but can be terribly effective in community relationship building. It can bring you information about what the community is really thinking about your firm. You’ll receive a step-by-step instruction manual for getting this up and running at your location.

 

12:30 - 1:30 p.m.
Lunch

 

1:30 - 3:00 p.m.
Implementation of Management: Creating the WOW Factor
Over the next several classes, we’ll cover dozens of programs designed to create the WOW factor for those you serve:

  • creative service enhancement ideas for less than $500
  • 318 ideas to improve family services
  • creative ideas to fit the changing times
  • veterans outreach program
  • holiday activities and memorial program
  • poinsettia program
  • Easter program
  • charity car washes
  • clergy seminars
  • Santa Claus photo program
  • life planning seminars
  • open houses and tours
  • bird watching days
  • photo contests
  • gardening classes
  • pumpkin decorating day

 

3:00 - 3:30 p.m.
Break

 

3:30 - 5:00 p.m.
Implementation of Management: Creating the WOW Factor (cont’d)

 

5:00 p.m.
Dinner

 

 

Tuesday, July 21

8:00 - 9:00 a.m.
Breakfast

 

9:00 - 10:30 a.m.
Implementation of Management: Creating the WOW Factor (cont’d)

 

10:30 - 11:00 a.m.
Break

 

11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Implementation of Management: Creating the WOW Factor (cont’d)

 

12:30 - 1:30 p.m.
Lunch

 

1:30 - 3:00 p.m.
Implementation of Management: Community Presentation
As funeral directors and cemeterians, we are often sought after as community speakers at civic, fraternal and church groups. Most people, however, lack skills, confidence and preparation when they are asked to speak. In this session, we’ll remove the fear of speaking, instill confidence and show how to be prepared.

You’ll take home actual presentation programs with visual aids, including scripts and instructions on how to present. The programs are designed to entertain an audience concerning interesting aspects of funeral service, and the scripts are written so that the programs will not last more than 20 minutes.

At the end of this session, students will be shown an effective and economic aftercare program.

 

3:00 - 3:30 p.m.
Break

 

3:30 - 4:30 p.m.
Implementation of Management: The Financials
In this final portion of the “Implementation of Management” section, we’ll examine programs concerning the merchandising of rental caskets, and effective credits, collections and accounts receivable programs.

 

4:30 - 6:00 p.m.
Graduation/Reception for Students Completing Four Years

 

6:00 p.m.
Dinner

 

 

Wednesday, July 22

8:00 - 9:00 a.m.
Breakfast

 

9:00 - 10:00 a.m.
Service Plan
This is your final road map, your navigator, your guide. You’ll go step by step to look at how things were done, how they are being done now, and how you’d like them to be done in the future in three areas:

  • family service

- advanced planning
- at-need services
- aftercare

  • community visibility/outreach
  • internal operations  

 

10:00 - 10:30 a.m.
Diploma and Class Pictures