Pre-Feasibility Study of Personalized Caskets Made of Eco-Friendly Materials

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Pre-Feasibility Study of
Personalized Caskets made of Eco-friendly Materials

Objective of the pre-feasibility study
To explore the viability of a business in manufacturing, marketing and selling customizable caskets made of eco-friendly materials. •To determine if this proposal should proceed to a feasibility study

Identification of Business Opportunities and Risks

There has been a recent global concern for the environment. In western countries, environment-friendly ways of living (and dying) are in demand. Campaigns to “go green” have proliferated to increase awareness and concern, including the Philippines. Aiming to contribute to the green movement, the business idea offers a chance for every potential customer for a basic and natural burial. •The product will be priced affordably. It was reported recently by mortuary directors that possibly due to the recession, Filipinos are spending comparatively less in funeral expenses. This gives an opening to make and sell economical coffins for people on a tight budget. •The product is anticipated to be cheaper to manufacture compared to a standard coffin. Raw materials which can be used include wood, natural fiber shrouds, fair-trade bamboo caskets lined with unbleached cotton; however, the business will mainly use recycled newspapers because it is easy to procure from recycle stations, and it is cheaper than the cited options. There is also no need for a special machine that will be used to produce the said caskets since the making of a wooden coffin is not significantly different from any other type of carpentry or cabinetry. •Mortality rates in the Philippines are as follows: (taken from the September 2008 National Population Census) Deaths(Based on civil registration. Not adjusted for underregistration) 389,081415,271393,638 Male 229,613245,069232,302

Female 159,468170,202161,335
Fetal Deaths 6,6637,6518,584
Crude birth rate1 (per thousand population) 18.1520.4022.80 Crude death rate1 (per thousand population) 5.455.435.48 Crude rate of natural increase 1/(per thousand
population) 12.7014.9717.32

An eco-friendly coffin is relatively a novel idea in the Philippines. The challenge is to convince people to try the product, when they are already accustomed to deep traditional practices of funeral and burial (and standard products in the funeral industry). It is noted that Filipinos cling to their beliefs and traditions strongly, which could impact their attitude towards proper caring for deceased family members. •The funeral industry is currently strong, with major players strategically linked by sub-businesses in burial grounds, mortuary services, cremation, casket production and selling, etc. It may be particularly difficult to execute direct selling. It may also mean handling high bargaining power of well-established funeral parlors. •Unlike in western countries where green cemeteries are going popular, in the Philippines there has not been a known burial space dedicated to “green” coffins. This fact jeopardizes an eco-friendly coffin if it can not be contained appropriately in the burial grounds or cemetery.

Industry Background

Since time immemorial, it has been a practice all over the world to give proper burial to a deceased person but it differs remarkably across cultures and through history. It varies from a simple wooden casket mostly used by poor people to an elaborate ones for the wealthier people who can afford such, and at worst, the very poor people had no coffins at all, and might be laid in the grave wrapped in a blanket.

It only takes the usual carpentry or cabinetry skill in the making of a wooden coffin. On the other hand, in some parts of the world, skilled carpenters are into the design and production of elaborate coffins. Through time, alternative coffins have sprouted to replace the...
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