When Hotel Equities, an award-winning hotel development, ownership and management company, was looking for a new accounting system they were quickly introduced to M3. Because of M3's user-friendly interface and their dedication to creating software specifically designed for hoteliers, the company was immediately hooked. Hotel Equities has been using M3's software for about 16 years now and credit them with part of their success.
With over 20 years of hotel-specific financial accounting and analytics experience under his belt, Carlos Melgar currently serves as the VP of Finance for Hotel Equities (HE), an Atlanta-based full-service hotel ownership, management and development firm.
HE’s portfolio includes more than 100 hotels operating or in development throughout North America. Their franchise includes partnerships with premier hotel brands like Marriott, Hilton and IHG as well as independent and boutique hotels.
When Melgar first arrived at HE in 2002, he was unable to discern the value of one accounting system from another. In his previous role, he worked as an asset manager for another full-service management company but it lacked the manpower to deliver timely reports, much less deliver actionable results.
Hotel Equities decided to make the switch to a new accounting solution when its leaders were first introduced to M3 at the turn of the 21st century. As the brainchild of former hotelier John McKibbon, the software made its debut at the dawn of high-speed internet, when “cloud computing” was still a virtually unknown concept in the industry. Almost immediately after interacting with M3, Melgar was hooked on the platform’s user-friendly interface and time-saving reporting capabilities. “The leaders of Hotel Equities discovered M3 at a time when most hoteliers had never even heard of the internet and there was no cloud,” said Melgar. “Now, almost twenty years later, I can still say with confidence it remains one of the best long-term investments the business has made. After all these years, M3 has allowed us to maintain a forward-thinking approach to financial operations, backed up by a team of former hoteliers who work and think like we do.”
Since partnering with M3, Hotel Equities has received proposals from several other solutions in the market but have not yet come across a system as robust or user-friendly as M3. Unlike larger, more ‘sophisticated’ ERP solutions that are marketed to every industry, M3 is specifically designed and deployed to deal with the everyday problems hoteliers face. This eliminates the need for Carlos and his team to spend countless hours in training (or rolling their eyes on the phone with IT)—and allows them to focus on the tasks that count. Furthermore, M3’s business intelligence tools connect PMS information with accounting data and other industry-wide analytics to provide critical insight into everyday expenses. The ability to access this information at the tap of a finger empowers Melgar and his team to diagnose ongoing patterns, provide actionable insight and make informed decisions to move the needle the right direction.
“With M3, our staff members are able to seamlessly export financial documents into a range of formats, from PDF to Excel or even email reports to clients directly if needed,” said Melgar. “Whether we’re dealing with daily sales reports, accounts payable, general ledger or other paper sheets—it’s all located in the same dashboard, so bookkeeping is a breeze compared to how it used to be.”
Another gamechanger for Melgar and his team was M3’s scalability. Thanks to the software’s intuitive cloud-based reporting module, the team at Hotel Equities can keep tabs on the financial health of multiple properties at once – ranging from boutique, select-service hotels to 1,000+ room properties. In addition, the software has never skipped a beat in terms of rolling out new enhancements and add-ons, from its uber-flexible mobile app to API-rich indexing tools.
“From day one, M3 has been the backbone of Hotel Equities’ financial operations, and this remains the case today. Fast forward 16 years, and although M3 still has the same exact prices (not even adjustments for inflation) and the same signature yellow and green colors—the platform itself is much more robust,” said Melgar. “If the need is there, we know M3’s team is already working to find the answer. As time has gone by, we’ve found that more and more of our new customers are already using M3, which makes the transition process—and our jobs—incredibly easier.”