SAIF webinars win the day

Declan Maguire

During the COVID-19 pandemic, SAIF has been hosting webinars for members. Declan Maguire’s Tech Talks have been very popular and helpful. Here he explains what’s available on the Members’ Area of SAIF’s website.

“As I reflect on the last few months I am deeply heartened to have witnessed our profession at its very best. We have come together to meet one of the greatest challenges in many of our professional lifetimes; in doing so we have demonstrated one of our key skills as funeral directors, our ability to adapt to whatever is thrown at us.

“This is in no small part due to the preparation, organisation and dedication of SAIF members, but also our ability to embrace the wide range of technology options to meet the restrictions imposed by social distancing.

“In a very short space of time members were utilising WhatsApp, Zoom, Microsoft Teams and FaceTime among many other options to provide the same high level of service only digitally.

“Further, firms were beginning to use these software platforms internally to expedite processes and reduce duplication.

“This seemed like the perfect opportunity to launch SAIF Tech Talks, a bitesize series of webinars to showcase some easy to use, cost effective communication, productivity and finance applications available.

“Our first webinar focused on ‘the cloud’, what is it and how does it work? We demonstrated two free to use cloud based apps, Slack and Typeform, both invaluable for a single funeral home or multi-branch firm.

“Our second talk focuses on productivity, as we demonstrate a flexible workflow application called Trello and show how this app can be used to schedule tasks, create a work log or even be used as a digital mortuary book. If time permits we’ll also show some of the software projects we’ve been working on to solve PPE distribution and Test and Trace efforts for the profession.

“For our third talk we are delighted to welcome the team from Xero to demonstrate their cloud accounting application. Having used many in house finance products over the years, Xero offers a clear and easy to use application that works seamlessly across your PC, tablet and smartphone. More importantly it works with many of the funeral operation software options currently on the market.”

Mark Binnersley: ‘Marketing for funeral directors during a national emergency’

SAIF’s public relations provider Mark discussed this in the context of coronavirus, the economic downturn and other challenges facing society.

He covered the types of message funeral directors could sensitively share with their communities, then talked through ways in which funeral directors could supply stories to their local media, in addition to appropriate posts for social media and websites.

Catherine Betley of Professional Help: ‘Supporting staff at risk during the Coronavirus crisis’

At the very early start of the crisis, Catherine considered the seismic shift the profession faced, going from offering the very best of personalised care to bereaved families to essentially becoming part of a ‘death management’ system, where staff could no longer offer the comfort of face-to-face meetings and carefully crafted, individual funerals for those who had died.

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