Service Corporation International

  www.sci-corp.com
  www.sci-corp.com
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1 person found this helpful  

I had a great experience working for SCI as a funeral director.

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
Current Employee - Funeral Director  in  Portland, OR
Current Employee - Funeral Director in Portland, OR

I have been working at Service Corporation International full-time for more than a year

Pros

Encouraged to be innovative and exceed client families' expectations. A lot of flexibility and support from management to create meaningful and individualized services for client families. Customer satisfaction was always the top priority. Recognized and received bonuses for high JD Power Customer Satisfaction scores. Occasionally received bonuses for high sales but never felt pressure to push anything on client families. The location I worked at had a great staff and we began every day with a morning meeting. As a result, each member of the staff knew what was on the schedule for that day, who was responsible for what and a brief idea of what was being planned with each client family. This put everyone on the same page, ensured a balanced workload, minimized any room for error and built morale. Required continued education courses. Provided "aftercare" for client families.

Cons

Funeral directors and staff have no control over pricing of services and merchandise. Occasionally upper management would consult with funeral directors about what was selling, what was not and why but it wouldn't go any further than that. Changes would still be made regardless of the feedback given. I was fortunate enough to work at a really terrific funeral home with a communicative, cohesive staff that got along and had the same goals and vision. The workload was dispersed evenly and no one was ever overworked. Not all locations are like that. It really depends on where you work and who you work with. Like any business, SCI likes to keep overtime to a minimum which is frustrating when you have multiple families and can't quite get everything done in an 8 hour work day. The funeral directors are dependent on an entirely different staff at the Care Center for the embalming, appearance and arrival of the deceased.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

This is more for upper management (e.g. market director): listen to - and more importantly implement - the feedback received from your staff. As the direct person of contact to the client families, the funeral directors understand what customers are looking for, what they value and what they are satisfied with. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Recommends
No opinion of CEO

174 Other Employee Reviews for Service Corporation International (View Most Recent)

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  1. 11 people found this helpful  

    I do not recommend this company for employment or death services.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Family Service Counselor
    Current Employee - Family Service Counselor

    I have been working at Service Corporation International full-time

    Pros

    helping people on the worst day of their life, helping people understand what it is they need for funeral and cemetery, great people to work with at my location, gaining an understanding of something that everyone will eventually have to do.

    Cons

    All you really need to know is that this is a publicly-traded company. As it relates to the death industry, this makes for a horrible combination. Anyone who has ever worked for SCI/Dignity Memorial will tell you that above all else and at all costs, the number one priority of this company is profit. Profit is fine. It makes for a great incentive. But this company is nothing but typical corporate near-sightedness. It's a shame to see how the cost-cutting affects local families who are completely oblivious to the fact that their local FH or cemetery is owned and ran by a mega corporate power who doesn't give the first crap about weeds that have engulfed Pawpaw Jimbo's grave marker. My location is the most expensive FH and cemetery in town, but the facilities and maintenance are on par with or worse than the cheapest. SCI can make a ton of money in the short term. But people aren't stupid forever. It sucks as a helpless employee who can't fix the various problems that arise due to issues far beyond your control. NO ONE up the chain cares. NO ONE. And that's really painful to see families get the short end like that, especially after knowing they forked over a huge chunk of change. No surprise the turnover rate is extremely high.

    The "Family Service Counselor" position is a sales job. There's a monthly quota. Your sales manager reports daily sales numbers and projections to regional sales managers. It is the job of your local funeral home and cemetery general or sales manager to meet his monthly and yearly pre-need sales quota. It is also their job to hire and staff sales team members who will produce the necessary numbers. The regional recruiter and local sales manager will lie to you about the compensation. They just want bodies in there and the theory is that eventually they'll find someone who gets lucky enough or desperate enough and will sell stuff. Also note, the more sales staff a location has, the harder it will be for you to make your quota and therefore make money for yourself. I was told the job was a base salary of minimum wage plus commissions. I figured I could average the equivalent of 12-20 an hour, maybe more if I get in there and work hard. Truth is, the salary is minimum wage or commission. Based upon the commission structure, you will need to sell, on average, about 75-90% of your monthly quota before you break minimum wage. You will not make quota every month. It's impossible. No one at my location, or other regional locations made quota every month. When you average it out over the year (4-5 months of minimum wage, 6-8 months of making 2-3k, with maybe one really good month, averaged over a 40 hour work week), you're looking at about a $12 an hour job.

    It makes financial sense for a lot of people to pre-plan. costs rise on average 5% every year. But if I'm paying $150-200 per month for a life insurance policy that gives my husband or wife $100-200k versus the option of paying for 5 years on a funeral policy that costs me 100-150 per month. It's a no brainer. The selling point is locking in the prices. But with funeral costs far outpacing inflation and wages, at some point it will slow way down. Also, cremation has been on the rise for several decades, reaching almost 50% of all deaths. People are doing this creepy thing where we pump formaldehyde into a person and then have the family come in and stare and cry over a dead body. So, there will always be the equivalent of the $999 cremation. It's really nonsense to be paying $30k+ for a couple just to be buried in the ground and have a service. Nuts!

    So, you're fighting a couple of things in this job. All the corporate bs could be overlooked if people were flooding in to buy. They're not. And the company refuses to advertise locally. None. You're up against people already having life insurance to cover funeral and cemetery costs. And you're up against people delaying in making decisions. It's one of the easiest things to not think about until you have to. So that's the biggest challenge. If the company would pay somewhere between 12-15 bucks I would gladly work 40+ hours a week, the weekends that are required, and serve the families just like I do now... but at minimum wage and no hope of any traffic coming through the door for pre-need sales, of course I'm looking for another job. BTW, you will end up spending about 50% of your time working for the funeral home and cemetery, even though your actual job requirement and what you are judged on is the pre-need sales. Something to think about before you jump in.

    I disagree with some of the SCI bashing you'll see around the web from some locally-owned FH folks in the industry. SCI is an evil mega corporation in Houston, with a handful of rich shareholders who call the shots. The people who work at the individual locations are regular people who live in the communities just like the people at a family-owned dig. They just need a job like everyone else. I saw workers who truly cared about families, but were limited when it came time to solve problems or issues created by corporate systems outside of their control.

    Bottom line: Unless it's your only option, don't work here. And even then, have an exit strategy and keep looking. Be prepared to work for minimum wage for a long while. Maybe you'll get a good sale and get a decent paycheck every now and then.

    Bottom line: If you die, don't go here. If your family member dies, don't go anywhere that has a "Dignity Memorial" on the sign or business card. The people there at the local facility might be great nice people, but there's a chance you will get screwed in some way either now or down the road and you will definitely over pay for what you get. If you have a pre-arranged funeral at Dignity Memorial FH, you can either cancel and be refunded, or if it's fully paid, you can transfer the amount to any other funeral home. The SCI firm doesn't have your money. It's an insurance policy you bought and the amount can be redeemed or transferred anywhere.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 3 people found this helpful  

    Sales Manager

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Sales Manager
    Former Employee - Sales Manager

    I worked at Service Corporation International full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Staff is friendly and a true team

    Cons

    The company's initials are SCI and employees would call it Sudden Change Imminent. I would find it hard to believe that my contracts would mysteriously/consistantly not be entered by the cut-off date resulting in the loss of thousands in commission by not acheiving the next level/tier in pay. I was involved in taking three locations from never hitting quota to exceeding quota consistantly. I was rewarded by having the already obscure (complex algorhythm) pay plan "changed for the better" resulting with my reward being a $20,000 pay cut. I promptly resigned after several attempts to re-negotiate my salary versus commission plan.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    make a clear payplan that your employees can figure out easly. It shouldnt take an excel spreadsheet with formulas built into it to "guess" your pay. Keep good management by keeping the payplans beneficial for both parties involved and it's ok for the employee to make a decent living.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
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