CREMATION: ONE MAN’S EXPERIENCE BUYING A RETORT

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At U.S. Cremation Equipment, we have a sales force that numbers in the hundreds, located across the globe. And not one of them is on our payroll.

How can that be, you ask. Quite simply, we recognize that our customers are our most influential sales force. Who better to provide a straightforward account of the quality of our human cremators – the Classic, Classic EXCEL and Classic Plus – than the people who put our equipment to use every day and depend on us to keep their business operational when questions arise?

It’s not unusual for our sales representatives – the ones who do draw a paycheck – to recommend to a prospective buyer that they talk to several of our customers before making a decision. So when given the opportunity to talk to you on these pages about our company, we decided to take a back seat and let a customer share his experience with U.S. Cremation Equipment —  before, during and after the contract was signed.

My name is Robert Snyder. I own an independent, first-generation funeral home with two locations in a small western Pennsylvania community, population less than 200, yet in a more densely populated county. Like most in the industry, I have felt challenged to find ways to continue to grow, particularly since my son is preparing to join me as a licensed funeral director.

Shortly after son David entered mortuary school, he reported that cremation was a major topic in the classroom and suggested that I add a crematory. Initially, I thought of reasons it would be a bad idea, starting with spending money I’d saved for retirement. What if it didn’t pay for itself?  But I agreed to do some research, contacting four to six companies. I got the most helpful response from Luis Del Pino at U.S. Cremation Equipment. Luis was kind, answered all questions and seemed truly committed to my success. Importantly, he understood that purchasing a crematory was a major decision and a significant expenditure. 

With easing doubt, I developed a true bond of trust with Luis and felt assured that USCE would be with me every step of the process.  And that their equipment would bring the best results. Conversations with their customers confirmed my instincts and alleviated my doubts. Soon, I was adding a crematory.

The first test of U.S. Cremation’s service was securing the permits. They handled everything  and all I had to do was write the check. Next was retrofitting an existing garage to house the retort. With clear and precise specs from U.S. Cremation Equipment all fit perfectly – no surprises.

Then my USCE service tech arrived and dedicated four days to getting us up and running, doing initial fire-up, curing, calibration and other tasks. Together we performed two cremations to ensure that all was operating as it should and that I felt comfortable as the operator. When he left, I had Luis and the technical team in speed dial.  There has never been a time that I could not reach them and that my questions weren’t answered.

In the little more than a year that my Classic has operated, here’s what I’ve found:

  • I projected that we would do 50 cremations annually. In our first year we completed 193. 
  • The unit is simple to operate through a digital screen. I literally set the parameters and the unit runs itself.
  • I can observe and supervise the operation remotely from my computer, iPhone and other devices.
  • Never once has the unit been overwhelmed resulting in visible smoke. This alone assures that I made the right choice.
  • Adding the crematory insignificantly affected my utility costs.
  • In the first year we served three other funeral homes and have just signed another.
  • Our crematory operates under a separate name. We understand that funeral homes we service don’t want the name of our funeral home on the ash containers,
  • The operator of a nearby crematory sends us his obese cases because the Classic is faster and doesn’t generate visible emissions.
  • The sleek appearance of the retort was a selling point, with its aesthetically pleasing appearance.

I was probably more doubtful than any prospect U.S. Cremation Equipment has encountered. In retrospect, the decision was a no-brainer and one of the best I’ve made. Now our future is rock solid. The company and its equipment have well surpassed my expectations – and continue to go above and beyond.

Robert Snyder is President of Robert L. Snyder Funeral Home and Crematory, Inc. and Lakeland Area Cremation Facility. He can be reached at 724-253-4203 or rsnyder@rlsfh.com.

Luis Llorens is President and Chief Engineer of U.S. Cremation Equipment. He co-founded American Incinerators Corporation in 2000 as well as the creation of U.S. Cremation Equipment in 2004. He can be reached at 321-282-7357.

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