|Who is Service Corporation
Service Corporation International
(SCI) was initially founded in 1962 and has its company headquarters in
Houston, Texas. They own 1,435 funeral homes and 374 cemeteries in
the U.S. and are the largest funeral and cemetery services company in the
world. SCI provides any and all funeral-related services mainly in
the United States and Canada but they also own facilities in eight European
countries including England, France and Germany. Additionally, the
company also conducts business in Singapore. The services they provide
include embalming, burial, cremation and pre-arranged funeral packages.
Their products cover every aspect of funerals such as caskets, burial vaults,
flowers, cremation funeral options and burial garments. It is estimated
that their share of the total funeral and cemetery market in North American
SCI consider themselves to
be innovative industry leaders providing high-quality services, good value
to the consumer and compassion in their interactions with bereaved family
members of the deceased.
What were the corporationís
The founder of this huge
organization is Robert L. Waltrip, a licensed funeral director, who received
his initial experience in the family funeral business. Mr.
Waltrip has managed the firm for over forty years. Part of his formula
for success was the purchase of additional funeral homes starting in the
1960ís and the ďclusterĒ concept whereby many facilities pool their resources
for cost efficiency.
Their network of funeral
homes has largely been built-up by acquiring existing funeral businesses.
Although SCI introduced the brand ĎDignity Memorialí in 1999, many of their
network of funeral homes still trade under the family names that were acquired.
In fact, in some businesses the original funeral home staff may still be
retained and employed by SCI.
The company is traded on
the New York Stock Exchange and currently has funeral contracts for unperformed
services in the amount of $6.8 billion as of December 2011. The company
states that it has assisted more than 630,000 families in the past year
and through their extensive network of companies would be able to serve
almost 80% of the families in the United States.
In 2006 SCI acquired Alderwoods
Group, who were at the time the second largest company in the North American
death care industry. In 2010 they acquired Keystone North America,
the then 5th largest company and in 2011 they acquired 70% of outstanding
shares of The Neptune Society. Neptune is described by SCI as the
nationís largest direct cremation organization. These acquisitions
have helped to position SCI as a dominant force in the death care industry.
What brands does SCI
SCI operates a number of
brands targeting different aspects of the death care market.
SCI also owns a disaster-recovery
subsidiary, Kenyon International Emergency Services, Inc. which was involved
in the aftermath of the tsunami tragedy that took place in Thailand in
December of 2004. A private client (either a corporation or institution)
hired Kenyonís mobile mortuary to locate remains of individuals connected
to that client in the disaster area. This subsidiary has a list of
clients in excess of 200, which include institutions, governments and corporations
for which it has the capability of setting up a disaster management coordination
Dignity Memorial: provides services
in 41 states and seven Canadian provinces.
Dignity Planning: Dignity Planning
provides funeral planning and arrangements through Dignity Memorial North
Advantage Funeral and Cremation
Services: Advantage provides basic funeral services and products.
Funeraria del Angel: Funeraria
del Angel provides specialized services for Hispanic customers.
Memorial Plan: Memorial Plan
currently manages six funeral homes and five cemeteries in South Florida.
Making Everlasting Memories:
helps memorialize loved ones by preserving and publishing life stories.
National Cremation Society:
Founded in 1972, National Cremation Society is the oldest and largest cremation
service in the United States.
Neptune and Trident Cremation
Societies: operate in 9 states offering cremation services
SCI has partnerships with
a number of organizations including:
Veterans of Foreign Wars of
the United States (VFW)
The Alliance for Retired Americans
Disabled American Veterans (DAV)
Angel de la Comunidad Fundacion
Employee Bereavement Programs
- American International
- Florida Hospice Association
- Liberty University
SCIís top competitors
in the funeral industry are:
SCIís acquisition of Alderwoods
Group in 2006 raised some concerns. The Federal Trade Commission
contended that the merger would lessen competition in 47 markets, leaving
consumers with fewer choices and the prospect of higher prices. An agreement
was reached to proceed with the merger, whereby SCI had to sell a number
of properties within 29 markets.
Stewart Enterprises, a 100-year
old company, which has 217 funeral service locations and 141 cemeteries
in 14 states (& Puerto Rico). Stewart Enterprises are also a
partner in Tributes.com and has a staff of 5,400.
Carriage Services, Inc. that
has 147 funeral homes in 25 states and 33 cemeteries in 12 states.
StoneMor Partners L.P is now
the 2nd largest owner and operator of cemeteries in the U.S. and has its
head office in Levittown, Pennsylvania. It has 293 properties in
26 states, 274 cemeteries and 69 funeral homes