Losing a loved one is never easy. Those whose lives were touched by the deceased need time to process emotions, comfort others and deal with their own grief. Along with the sadness of a life lost, family and friends are faced with the overwhelming responsibility of funeral and burial arrangements, adding stress to an already emotional time. CRäKN in Cincinnati, Ohio, built a cloud-based software solution for funeral professionals to simplify these processes and alleviate the burden on families and friends.
“There’s a ton of administrative work that’s required to properly plan arrangements following a death, and that can be burdensome on funeral directors and families,” said Clifford Campbell, Chief Technology Officer at CRäKN. “It’s also a really sensitive time. Our team has extensive experience in the death care industry and recognized the value of a solution that could take care of all the back-office responsibilities, the planning and coordination, to enable funeral directors to spend more time focusing on the needs of the family.”
CRäKN’s software-as-a-service solution, which is accessible via mobile phone, tablet or PC, boosts the efficiency of funeral directors with tools that automate routine business and accounting processes. Using data input into the system, from family members involved in the planning to the flowers that they ordered, the software populates applicable forms to keep billing and compliance forms easy to track. Time traditionally spent gathering and inputting this data into several different systems can now be spent focusing on the needs of the family during a difficult time.
“The relief these automated processes can provide to families is why we built this solution. The last thing loved ones want to focus on during this time is paperwork,” said Campbell. “For example, if the deceased were a veteran, a funeral director could record relevant details like what wars they served in, their branch, and so on, and then automatically generate Veterans Affairs forms so the family basically just has to print them out and mail them in. That eliminates hassle for them and really provides a huge value.”
CRäKN was founded in 2011 by Scott Mindrum, the company’s President and CEO. The name stands for Customer Relationships and Knowledge, with the umlaut over the a as a nod to Mindrum’s Norwegian heritage.
The team built their streamlined solution over time with the support of several entrepreneurial resources, including HCDC, Cintrifuse and Queen City Angels, all southwest regional partners of Ohio Third Frontier. CRäKN’s offices are located at HCDC, are members of the Cintrifuse innovation community, and they’ve received investment from Queen City Angels.
“The community in Ohio is so interconnected and that’s been huge for our development. We lean on the community in more ways than just mentorship or investment,” said Campbell. “There are tons of events for startups and tech professionals, and that’s where we’ve made a lot of meaningful connections and even found new team members. This sort of collaborative atmosphere is great when you’re trying to build a company.”