Intro to Scott Watson
Intro to M3
Who is M3? That is a great question. “Who” implies a personalization of the company so I’ll try to answer that using personal characteristics. M3 is a caring organization focused on the success of our customers, the support of our community and the lives of our people. M3 always tries to do what is right in all we do, to grow profitably, to help our people be the best they can be and to pursue excellence. For me personally, I try to take my position as a steward of M3’s resources and our customers’ trust seriously and help drive that into the “who” part of M3 daily.
What is M3? Now that’s a more traditional question. M3 is a technology company focused exclusively on delivering excellence through hospitality-specific solutions. Our best-of-class accounting solutions, business intelligence platform and labor management tools help our customers become more successful by driving their financial performance.
What makes M3 different from competitors? I think the answers to the last two questions summarize what makes us different not only from perceived competitors, but to many companies in general. By focusing on people, the products come. By focusing on our customers’ success, the financial performance comes. By focusing on reinvesting in our people, our community and our customers, the growth opportunities and brand awareness comes. The key difference, I suppose, is that we serve over 5,000 properties with our solutions, which is 5 times more than others that try to do what we do. I don’t spend a lot of time considering what makes us different – only on what we can do that makes us the best.
About M3 Podcast
Why now? The short answer is why not now? The longer answer is simply that we are at the point in our marketing lifecycle that it makes sense. 2 years ago, M3 did not even have a marketing department. Since that time, we have established a marketing department, formalized our communication strategy, engaged with a public relations firm to help us spread the M3 gospel and tried to adopt a more proactive and relevant social media strategy. The podcast is an idea that originated with Megan Horne, our Marketing Coordinator. It’s really her baby and all I can do at this point is mess things up.
What will our podcast be about? The podcast is intended to allow people to see the personality of M3.
What to expect… The episodes will begin with discussions with various team leaders within M3. They will share more about our products, services and customer engagements. However, as the season progresses, we hope to illustrate how M3 promotes a culture where leadership is developed and customers service always comes first, we’ll share how we are helping to insure equality of women in the workplace and we’ll provide a glimpse into our global growth strategy. Our hope is that we’ll have episodes where listeners can hear directly from some of our customers as well. We’ll close the season by celebrating M3’s 20th anniversary
Where can we expect to see M3 this year? We’ll be all over the map. The sales team are out and about every week. They attend local and regional events and we attend various activities and conferences; however, we only exhibit at The Hunter Hotel Conference and HITEC. Hunter was a couple of months ago in Atlanta and HITEC North America is in Houston next month. You’ll likely also see us in some capacity at The Lodging Conference in Phoenix, the Annual Hotel Conference in Manchester, England and we’ve also already returned from the International Hotel Investment Conference in Berlin, Germany and the American Lodging Investment Summit in Los Angeles.
What will we be showcasing at different conferences? Historically, we showcase our product and service line, which we’ve already discussed. But this year, we are taking a couple of our Product Managers/Product Owners so that attendees that stop by the booth can hear about some of the new things we’ll be introducing later this year. We also spend a lot of time listening and snooping around just to make sure we stay on the leading edge of things.
Talk about our partnership with French Duncan. French Duncan is a certified accountancy firm in the UK – Glasgow, Scotland to be specific. I’ve been visiting with them for almost 3 years. Their senior staff come to see us last summer and Allen Read and I went over to see them last fall and formalized the relationship at that time. Casi Johnson, our COO and Sean White, our Accounting Core Product Owner are headed over next week. French Duncan has offered what we would call traditional CPA services for years. However, they recently started a hotel accounting division. There was functionality they were seeking to support that market effectively and we were in the right place at the right time to provide a solution. Over time, M3 will become the accounting product of choice for their hotel accounting division.
Why is this partnership a big deal for M3? It is a big deal because for the first time in the company’s history, M3 can serve the needs of a customer based outside of the continental US. The rewrite of the software that we had to make to serve the needs of French Duncan and the UK market serve as the foundation for delivering M3 to a global market.
What does going global mean for M3? Our primary concern and focus remains serving the present and future needs of our 725+ customers and 5,200+ properties here in the US. However, we also must be prepared to serve a global market because if we don’t someone else will. Our global strategy is simple – go where the business leads us. We will not be deploying a global sales team prospecting in every corner of the Earth. But, if we get requests to serve certain customers in certain markets, we’ll certainly conduct the proper due diligence and if it makes sense, we’ll do our best to serve their needs as well.
What are some big moments that have happened at M3 so far this year? We added our 700th customer, our 5,000th hotel and our first customer based outside of the United States. We’ve also moved into new offices in Gwinnett and in Tampa.
What are some things coming down the pipeline that we can look forward to? Big things to look for from M3. You will have to ask your guests in some of the other episodes that question. I don’t want to be the one to give away any secrets. But, I can share one big thing and that is the company’s 20th anniversary.
When is the 20th anniversary? We will be celebrating the 20th anniversary in November.
What can people look forward to with our anniversary? I’m going to have to defer to Jessica Hollingsworth on that question. She has the grooviest job in the company. I call her the Ambassador of Fun and I’m sure she has already started the planning.
Talk about how far M3 has come within the past 20 years. I have only been here 6+ years. You’ll have the opportunity to have guests like Allen Read, our President, Casi Johnson our COO and Dennis Jackson, one of our other EVP’s that have been here since the beginning, or almost from the beginning, they will be able to provide you much better perspective than I can on that 20-year window. I’m just blessed that they allowed me to come along for the ride.