As many of our loyal customers may already know, Milan Vault went through a significant change in 2021. In June, Milan Vault ceased the sale of Burial Vaults to funeral homes and therefore we no longer service funerals at the grave side. Over the past few months we have answered a lot of questions- Why? What will you do? Will you go back to burial vaults in the future?, etc… The purpose of this blog post is to address some of these questions and relay our positive outlook. So, let’s get started…
Why? Well, 2020 and 2021 were HARD for the labor market, especially in manufacturing and even more so when it comes to hiring to service funerals. The pandemic made workers scarce and the workers we could find were not open to working funerals. Let’s be honest here for a second- being part of the death care industry is challenging. It requires a lot of time, patience, care, and attention to detail. All of which we had in spades leading up to the pandemic. But once labor became hard to come by and we had a few long-term employees retire- we began to clearly see that we could no longer be the Milan Vault we were for the last 40 years. We took a look and our core values, our commitment to our customers (and their families), workforce projections and we made the difficult decision to transition our funeral customers to a vault company who could provide them with the full-service experience they deserve. The good news is we’re not 100% out of the burial vault business- we continue to provide vaults to bulk purchase customers (cemeteries). And, while our product lines may change in the coming months/ years we remain committed to our core values of providing high quality precast concrete products with excellent customer service- no matter what products we produce.
Will we ever get back into the burial vault industry (in the same manner we were)? Unlikely, as mentioned above, a lot goes into providing high quality service at grave sides for funerals. And while we will always value the relationships we had with our funeral homes, it is time for Milan Vault to look toward the future.
What will we do? Milan Vault will aggressively expand our existing product lines and customer base. In December 2021 Leah graduated from the highly successful Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program with the knowledge needed to grow Milan Vault and transition the business to what is next; this coupled with Sam’s expertise and versatility has us confident we are primed to move forward. We also have a few new product lines we are working on, so stay tuned.