Styx RFID tracks bodies on way to cremation

  • July 10, 2023
  • Steve Rogerson

Philadelphia-based Styx Logistics is using RFID chips to track bodies from removal to cremation.

The company has completed a beta test programme using an RFID chip to track bodies from their initial removal to their final disposition in crematories.

Styx Logistics offers funeral homes a suite of ecommerce, content management and dispatching logistics software modules and apps, available to funeral homes and mortuary transport services on a subscription SaaS basis. With the addition of this patent-pending digital toe tag, Styx can offer complete end-to-end digital tracking through the company’s funeral director, driver and crematory apps.

As funeral home margins have slipped from around 15% a decade ago to below 7% today, funeral directors can’t afford to manage low-cost offerings such as direct cremations. They need to focus their time and attention on high-margin funerals instead. But increasingly consumers are moving away from expensive funerals to lower-cost cremations. Today, 58% of Americans are choosing cremation and, in some states, the cremation rate is greater than 80%.

According to Styx Logistics CTO Penny Goodwill, while most funeral homes already have a rudimentary web site encouraging customers to call or come in, they rarely have an ecommerce capability.

“For a small processing fee of one to two per cent, Styx transforms static informational funeral home web sites into profit centres,” said Goodwill.

Already being used by dozens of funeral homes, the addition of the digital toe tag RFID chip to the platform enhances the offering.

“Styx is the secret sauce behind what we do at Cremstar,” said Michael Krause, Cremstar of PA funeral director. “Customers order and pay directly online, usually without even calling us. Plus, all the information they input is automatically entered into the required documents. The Styx apps don’t just help me manage our dispatches and keep an eye on our drivers, they also let me edit and regenerate key documents right there on my phone, no matter where I am, in the office or on the road.”

Marcus Richardson, manager of Haven Memorial Crematory of Chester, Pennsylvania, added: “With a tap of the Styx Crematory app, we can inform the funeral director that the cremation has happened, while automatically emailing customers that it’s time to come by for their ashes. By integrating the Styx digital toe tag into the process, we’re not just improving customer service, we’re adding an extra layer of ID security beyond our cremation medallions, thereby enhancing our legal protections.”

The digital toe tag will be rolled out to funeral homes in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, said Goodwill.