Ryan Funeral Home Case Study

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RYAN FUNERAL HOME CASE INTRODUCTION On a warm Chicago evening in August 2005, Regina Ryan leaned back in an overstuffed armchair in her brightly lit apartment above Ryan Funeral Home. Seventy-five years old and a widow, Regina smiled as she looked at the sons and daughters gathered before her: Maureen, Patrick, Sean, Brendan, Conner, and Siobhan. Finally she spoke: “Your father was proud to own his own funeral home. He built this from nothing to what it is today. By serving local families so well, the name Ryan Funeral Home has come to mean compassion, integrity, and quality to those in this area. Reputation is everything in the funeral business. “He’s gone now, and I must decide what’s to become of all this. I always…show more content…
Until the 1970’s, funeral directors used what was called all inclusive pricing, which meant that families paid one price for most elements of the funeral. The elements included: the casket, removal of the deceased from the place of death, embalming, dressing, application of cosmetics and place in the casket, arrangement conference with funeral director, two nights of visitation (also known as the wake) at the funeral home, directing the funeral, and the use of automotive fleet (including hearse and limousine) to transport family and the deceased to the church and/or the cemetery, and the register book, memorial folders, and acknowledgement cards. The elements of the funeral that were excluded from this all inclusive price were the grave, flowers, the opening and closing of the grave, the burial vault, the honorarium for the clergyman, and the grave maker. There have been tremendous changes over the past few decades as a result of FTC mandated changes in funeral service pricing, changes in consumer preferences, and consolidation of funeral service providers. Beginning in 1984, the FTC required funeral homes to provide consumers with a general price list (See exhibit #1) which breaks down the prices of each element of the funeral. For example, instead of charging one price of say $9,000 for all the merchandise and services listed above, the funeral home must break the charge down into elements, such as $3,450 for the casket, $540

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