Your life is your message to the world, make sure it is remembered. The undeniable fact of life is
death. The only problem is that very few people are financially prepared for it. Death generally comes
unexpected, and with this comes unexpected expenses. All reasonably responsible people will ensure
that in the event of passing away, that adequate provision is made to pay for his or her funeral.
Inequality and extreme poverty in South Africa necessitates a product that will eliminate fraud and
exploitation of customers. Shepherd Life aims to provide a funeral policy product to a niche target
market that will support the ethical norms of the founders. The niche target market includes all South
African citizens dependent on a social grant. The product will be superior in quality and innovation with
the lowest possible premium in the market.
This project has one main objective which is to develop a well-defined business plan for Shepherd Life.
This objective was divided into two specific deliverables. The first deliverable is the development of a
business model for Shepherd Life that will support the strategy and objectives of the company. The
second deliverable is the design of a tablet application that supports the business model. A literature
study was done to gain an understanding of all the techniques available to design, evaluate and validate
a business model, a financial model and a tablet application.
Using these techniques studied in the literature review two business models were developed and
compared using a business model canvas and a financial analysis. The target market, industry and
competitors of Shepherd Life were studied comprehensively. The models were evaluated using an
analytical hierarchy process and the optimal model was chosen. The tablet design was done by
developing context data models, detailed entity relationship diagrams, context data flow diagrams and
screen mock-ups. All of these techniques assisted the technical design team of Shepherd Life to develop
Shepherd Life implemented the proposed business model and tablet solution. After implementation a
SWOT assessment as well as an objective compliance check to validate the business model was done.
To validate the tablet design a questionnaire was distributed and completed by all agents and team
leaders of Shepherd Life and finally analysed. An objective compliance check was also done for the
Shepherd Life aims to deliver a state of the art product while at the same time supporting the niche
target market the company operates in. Helping the underprivileged and eliminating fraud from the
industry will help make South Africa a better country with each funeral policy sold.
Mini-dissertation (Final year project) (BEng)--University of Pretoria, 2015.