Asha Dooley, a funeral director in Sydney, said that the entire funeral process begins with a phone call. The call may be before the person passes away or after the passing. During the phone call, the grieving family member will share how they want the funeral to go and they even meet with the funeral home’s director.
This is when the funeral planning starts and it can vary depending on the culture and religion of the person who passed away. Ms. Dooley shared that they usually have only three days for the entire planning process before the funeral takes place.
For a full service funeral home, they will oversee everything from the transport of the body until the service program is over.
Most funeral homes are composed of a chapel, hearse, planning rooms and mortuary.
Ms. Dooley shared that in order for them to finish everything on time, there are things that they have already arranged even before the family contacts them.
This means that they already have a list of venue as well as various ideas they can pitch to the family as soon as possible. The work has to be done quickly because of the short time given.
For Ms. Dooley’s funeral business, she has a total of four employees working full time while there are a few working part time. She said that her enterprise can be considered a small one.
Funeral homes like hers used to be the traditional homes seen in Australian – they are the ones run by a family and independent.
This has changed since a big conglomerate, InvoCare, has coveted 37 per cent of the funeral industry in the country. In 2016, they have 1,566 workers, 225 funeral homes as well as 16 cemeteries and crematoria.
According to coffin manufacturers, their industry will never go out of business but it is easily influenced by the changing fashion trend. Ms. Dooley said that she and her fellow funeral director in Sydney have noticed that cremation is more popular in the country compared to traditional burials. This is inevitable that the price of real estate for burial space is also increasing.