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Transitioning from Paper to Passare: Calahan Funeral Home and Cremation's Success Story

Calahan Funeral Home - Shirley A. Calahan - Featured Image

Shirley Calahan, Vice President at Calahan Funeral Home in Chicago, wanted to improve efficiency at her funeral home. She needed software to help them transition from paper to technology and make their everyday work more efficient. 

When she found Passare, she knew the software would help her accomplish her goals.

With it, Shirley and her team successfully implemented new processes to take their processes digital and improve efficiency across the board. Keep reading to see how Passare has changed their work for the better, and to discover what feature is a “lifesaver” for her team!

What challenges were you facing in your business before Passare?

Before Passare, we were completely overwhelmed with paper files. We used case management software, but its limitations caused us to do most of our work on paper. 

For example, everything related to a case was inside a file folder, including papers with the family schedule, the clothing tag to receive clothing, limousine pick up, payment history, and a sheet for the funeral director to reference. On top of all that, we had paper contracts and notes of our conversations with families.

What convinced you that it was time to make a change?

While we had our paper process down, I knew there had to be a better way to stay organized.

I remember sitting down one day and writing the same thing 3-5 times. All of our standard paper files required the same information, and I thought: Why do we keep writing the same thing over and over again?

It didn't make sense. 

While the information we were writing was essential, I knew there had to be an easier way to get all the correct information in the right places without manually writing it out. That was what urged me to look for software solutions.

What led you to choose Passare over another company?

Before exploring software solutions, we identified a few ways we could improve. Passare aligned with our company culture, and the features they offered met our needs. Plus, Passare could help us become more efficient and decrease our use of paper, which was one of our goals. 

How did you get your staff on board to switch to Passare?

We had been talking about going paperless for a few years, so our staff was open-minded to a change in processes. After our staff saw that a lot of what we do on the operations side of our business would all take place on one platform in Passare, they were even more open to change.

What was your experience implementing Passare?

Before we started using Passare, we had extensive training. We scheduled training with our implementation manager and were trained on different areas of the software.

It was a seamless transition. Passare is so user-friendly and easy to follow, but the team at Passare made it even easier to receive the information.

What are some of your favorite features in Passare?

I love several specific features, such as eSignatures, Notes, and Calendar.

What do you love most about eSignatures in Passare?

I love the eSignature capabilities in Passare. With this feature, we can get an order of release form signed by a family whether they're across the country in California or just around the block from our funeral home. All we have to do is open the file in Passare, add the necessary information, sign it and send it to the next of kin. Now, we can get forms back in 5 minutes with eSignatures.

Before Passare, we'd have to wait until the family came in, try to fax or mail the forms to them, or even go to their house. If we didn't receive a signature, it would delay the planning process.

Now, we can get verified signatures in just a few minutes.

How has Notes changed your work for the better?

Before Passare, we kept our conversation notes with families on various sheets of paper. But now, with Notes, we can leave notes in Passare specifically for that family, and then send them out to everyone involved so they can all stay up to date.

No one misses anything, and families can see that we're keeping up with the details and discussions.

If a family member comes in with a question, anyone on our staff can answer it. All they have to do is go into Passare and look at the notes. This makes handling questions much more efficient.

What's been your experience using the Calendar feature?

I love it. All we have to do is put the date, place, time of service, and limousine pickup, and it hits the Calendar. Then, we can easily go back and look at the Calendar for that day or the next week to see what events are happening with each family.

Plus, now the Calendar is accessible on our phones with the Passare Mobile app. The Calendar is a lifesaver.

Are there any other features you've enjoyed?

Yes! We take payments through Passare. When a family comes in, and wants to make a payment, we can easily process it at any of our terminals, swipe the card right there, and it appears in Passare. We can take checks or credit cards and post against the account balance.

We even discontinued our third-party credit card company because we no longer needed them.

Would you recommend Passare to a colleague?

I would absolutely recommend Passare. The software has met our needs completely. They are willing to work with us in the way that we do business here at Calahan Funeral Home, and that's unique.

Anything else you'd like to add?

Passare is more than software; it's a partner that helps us reach our goals and serve our families better. I've been so pleased with it.


About the funeral home:

Shirley Calahan serves as Vice President and Owner alongside her husband Edward Calahan, President and Owner. They serve between 400-500 families each year in the Chicago, IL, area.

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