Date

2010

Degree Name

BS in Industrial Engineering

Department

Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering Department

Advisor(s)

M. Lee McFarland

Abstract

Customer satisfaction is the ultimate goal of any business regardless of the industry it resides in; it’s the sole driver of a company’s productivity levels and overall success within the market. Although numb to most market fluctuations, the funeral industry needs to reinvent their business strategies continuously in order to increase their market share. It’s especially important for smaller funeral homes across the world to take this idea to another level in order to stay competitive with the larger, corporate establishments. In the past twenty years, the industry has grown exponentially due to more interest and popularity. The increase in informed customers triggered a demand for more variation of all possible funeral services available; it’s imperative that the family-run, smaller companies maintain their aggressiveness to stay cutting edge amongst their rivals. In response to the increased customer knowledge, funeral homes strive to cultivate this market by targeting their motives.

The population naturally wants to know their options when making a decision, and supplying these choices develops a cushion for the assessment, much like a menu works in a restaurant environment. Particularly when the decision effects the final disposition of their closest family and friends, the client demands knowledge of any potential opportunities. By creating a tool to address this urge in the market, the customer satisfaction will increase immensely which will result in a better return of clients and overall productivity levels.

The Habing Family Funeral Home experienced the situation mentioned above which created a need for a customer interface of all the services they supplied. Designing and implementing the tool resulted in a great outcome and provided a generous savings cost suitable for the current business plan of the funeral home. Ergonomics and human factors were two main disciplines utilized in generating this tool that was suitable for the client profile. This experiment intertwined various topics from the Industrial Engineering curriculum in a very unique industry which illustrates the versatility of this interest of study.