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Two ASD Features Selected as Finalists for 2018 NFDA Members’ Choice Award

Jul 13, 2018

ASD is pleased to announce we have been selected as a finalist for the NFDA Members' Choice Award (formally called the Innovation Award). This is the fourth time in six years ASD has been named a finalist for the award and the first time two of our submissions have received finalist status in the same year. ASD was recognized for our Spanish Translation Services and Web Form WatchDog™ tool.

The NFDA Members’ Choice Award represents the pinnacle of achievement for a funeral service vendor. By encouraging innovation within our industry, this award inspires companies within the funeral profession to seek out new ideas, technologies, and processes to make a positive impact on funeral directors and the families they serve. While no other company has won this award more than once, ASD is proud to be a three-time recipient. Year after year, our company has demonstrated how fully committed we are to seeking out new and inventive ways to resolve communication issues for funeral directors.

ASD Family-Member Owner and Leader of our Technology Team, Marty Czachor Jr., with our first NFDA Innovation Award in 2012

ASD exclusively serves the funeral profession. This allows us to focus our attention on our clients' common problems, and develop unique custom solutions ,” says Marty Czachor Jr., Vice President of ASD and head of our company’s Technology Team. “The ASD Tech Team has developed the systems and software platforms used daily by our employees, as well as our customers. This provides ASD the ability to modify our systems to enhance our service, or provide a completely new solution.

ASD was recognized this year for our Web Form WatchDog™ tool and Spanish Translation Services—two features that help funeral directors to better serve families by offering more responsive service and enhanced communication. While one feature utilizes ASD’s state-of-the-art technology, the other is supported by our skilled bilingual Call Specialist team.

Spanish Translation Services

Communication is essential to the work of funeral directors because there is never a second chance to say goodbye to a loved one. Today, 41 million people in the U.S. speak Spanish as their native language. Eliminating the possibility of a misinterpretation is crucial when a funeral home is working with a Spanish-speaking family. However, using a third-party translation service can cause a multitude of issues as these companies have little experience assisting the bereaved or understanding the particulars involved with arranging a funeral service and final disposition. This led ASD to established the first Spanish Translation Service exclusively for funeral professionals. The company’s experienced bilingual team can provide 24/7 translation services for directors that need to communicate with Spanish-speaking callers.

“I have been assisting more Spanish-speaking families for at need and they feel comfortable speaking to someone in their own language. Bilingual Call Specialists not only help the families, but also the funeral directors by translating and interpreting what their needs are such as: cremation services, burial, transporting the body to another country, or preneed pricing ,” says ASD Training Specialist, Myrna Russi, who has been a part of our bilingual team for more than a decade. “ASD’s bilingual staff helps callers by reducing the stress and discomfort they experience on a daily basis, due to the language barrier and not having the ability to express themselves clearly. ASD eliminates errors by ensuring their needs are understood.”

From providing pricing information to family members, to explaining America’s foreign transport requirements to directors in other countries, ASD’s Spanish Translation Services can help bridge the communication gap so funeral homes are better able to serve Spanish families. Hispanics are the country’s largest minority—about 17% of the population—and are expected to double in size to 106 million residents by 2050. According to Pew Research, one-third of Hispanics are not proficient in English. These families will need translation assistance if a death occurs, especially in cases when repatriation to another country must be arranged. Latino funerals are characterized by full service burials, an extended wake period, which can last overnight, and many traditions involving food, music and games. Planning and properly executing such an involved service requires a great deal of communication to meet the family’s expectations. ASD can help directors coordinate these details with Hispanic families to ensure the concerns of both parties are fully understood. This improves the family’s experience and gives directors peace of mind knowing if a Spanish-speaking person calls the funeral home, day or night, ASD will be able to assist with any translation services that are needed.

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Web Form WatchDog™

In today’s busy world, it is easy to miss a call and even easier to overlook an email. This is just human nature. However, for funeral professionals such a simple error can have major consequences if it results in a grieving family feeling ignored. Most funeral home websites today have a Contact Us form instructing visitors to leave their information. When a form is submitted, it often is sent to a single, generic email that is not monitored 24/7. As a result, directors often do not see them until the following day, if at all, and the family might contact a competitor in the meantime. ASD’s Web Form WatchDog™ is the only tool that gives funeral homes the ability to protect this open line of communication. With this feature, inquiries submitted through the firm’s Contact Us form automatically generate an alert within ASD’s notification system. This safety net ensures funeral home web inquiries are answered in a timely manner and are always sent to the designated on-call funeral director.

When a web form is submitted, ASD will follow the designated contact preferences that have been specified by the on-call director. For example, ASD could email, text or send an ASD Mobile push notification with the new Web Form details. The on-call director has the ability to acknowledge the message via email, text, ASD Mobile or via ASD’s website. If no response is received within a predetermined time, ASD will follow up with a phone call to ensure the message is handled in a timely manner.

The communication bridge this feature provides will enhance connections between funeral professionals and the people visiting their website. Today, 81% of people conduct research online before making a purchase. This number is predicted to continue rising as more businesses recognize the importance of building a responsive web presence. ASD’s Web Form WatchDog™ makes this an achievable goal for funeral homes while also helping families in need connect with directors who can help them in less time.

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ASD Family-Member Owner, Kevin Czachor, accepting the 2017 Innovation Award

“It is quite an honor to have two of our answering service features selected as finalists for this prestigious award. We are both thrilled and humbled to be recognized for the fourth time by the NFDA for our company’s commitment to innovation,” says ASD Vice President, Kevin Czachor. “This is the first time any company has been named a finalist for two entries in one year. Both our Web Form WatchDog™ and Spanish Translation Services were created to help funeral directors enhance their communication with the families they serve. These two features demonstrate ASD’s commitment to serving families with the highest level of training and advanced technology.”

ASD was honored to receive the NFDA Innovation Award in 2012, 2015 and in 2017. In 2012, we were recognized for our ASD Mobile app for iPhone and Android. To date, our app is the most downloaded and highest rated mobile app created for funeral directors. ASD was recognized with the Innovation Award again in 2015 for our patented MobileFH™ feature, which allows funeral directors to show their funeral home number, instead of their personal cell phone number, as their outgoing Caller ID. This has become one of our most popular tools with more than 18,000 calls per month.

ASD Vice President and Family-Member Owner, Kevin Czachor, accepting the NFDA Innovation Award at the 2015 NFDA Convention.

Last year, we were honored to receive our third Innovation Award for our Suicide Telephone Operator Patch (STOP) System, a feature that was invented by ASD solely to help those in crisis. This tool gives our staff the ability to seamlessly connect a caller with a suicide prevention hotline, ensuring these individuals receive the immediate counseling, guidance and support they need.

ASD Vice President and Family-Member Owner, Kevin Czachor, accepting the NFDA Innovation Award at the 2017 NFDA Convention.

A distinguished panel of NFDA judges selected ASD’s Web Form WatchDog™ and Spanish Translation Services as two of the five finalists for the 2018 Members’ Choice Award. The winner will be announced during the Opening General Session of the 2018 NFDA International Convention & Expo in October after the funeral service community has an opportunity to cast their votes online. Voting begins August 1st sure to visit the official NFDA 2018 Members’ Choice Award page to cast your vote next month.

Thank you to the NFDA for giving us the opportunity to rise to this challenge and brainstorm ways we can contribute to progress within the funeral profession. We believe it is so important to encourage innovation within our profession, which is why we never take a break when it comes to finding better solutions for common problems funeral directors experience. Currently the ASD Technical Team is in the process of developing several new features, including more customizable messaging options and a mobile tool that will allow you to send and receive text messages on your cell phone using the funeral home number as the Caller ID. We will never stop seeking out new ways to make your life easier!

We look forward to seeing everyone at the 2018 NFDA Convention & Expo in Salt Lake City and at our Client Cocktail Party to be hosted during the convention on Monday, October 15 th at the historic McCune Mansion!


About The Author

Jess Farren (Fowler)

Jess Farren (Fowler) is a Public Relations Specialist and Staff Writer who has been a part of the ASD team since 2003. Jess manages ASD's company blog and has been published in several funeral trade magazines. She has written articles on a variety of subjects including communication, business planning, technology, marketing and funeral trends. You can contact Jess directly at