After more than a decade working at Sealy Corp. and Tempur Sealy International—rising from national account representative at the former to national sales manager in the latter’s hospitality division—Matthew Carter was looking for something a little different.
“I wanted to work in the hospitality industry and serve that client base but wanted to do that with a different product and a different service level,” said Carter. “So branching out from furniture and mattresses and going to something technology-based was my primary goal.”
That was when he found Modio. A Canadian technology manufacturer focused on sound masking, the company was local to Carter and his family. “As soon as we started to have the conversation, it became very evident that we were both a very natural fit for what were each looking for and from there everything happened very quickly.”
Division lead, hotels at Modio since November 2018, Carter said he spends his time engaging with the industry and helping hoteliers understand what sound masking can do. When a hotel guestroom has noise, whether external or internal, coming into a guestroom, Carter explained, “the common practice has been to mitigate that noise through structural changes, whether it’s insulation or windows or whatever the case may be; whereas Modio is able to solve those issues without any structural interventions and solve it in a way that can be a lot more impactful and actually generate the result in a lot more efficient and effective way.
“It’s a relative unknown for many people although they’ve probably experienced it at some point in their life in commercial office space and hospitals and that sort of thing,” continued Carter. “As an application that works for hotels, it’s a relatively new idea.”
In his position at Modio, Carter said he is still drawing on his experience from his time in the mattress industry. “I think the lessons learned and lessons that you’re constantly learning is how to engage with your customer base and how to engage with an industry,” he said.
Part of that has come easier than one might expect for someone who has transitioned from furniture to technology. “There’s always different factors that go into various intricacies within an industry, and each industry is going to be inherently different from another.
“A lot of the language that I was using beforehand in terms of talking about wellness, talking about guest satisfaction when it comes to sleep and comfort, a lot of those messages are inherent in what we’re trying to accomplish with Modio as well,” Carter said. “Modio is there as a wellness amenity for the guests, there to provide better comfort, there to provide better sleep, and so being able talk about those concepts in a clear and concise way is something that definitely I took forward.”
According to Carter, Modio has installed its sound-masking technology in thousands of guestrooms at more than 100 hotels. Though he said some properties will implement Modio across the board in all guestrooms, he noted others have taken a more focused approach. “There’s those that have Modio in maybe their trouble spots, if they’ve got a rooftop bar that affects a couple of rooms or if they’ve got a particularly loud elevator on a specific floor, then we’ll help remediate those rooms that surround that area.”
Geographically, Modio is focused on North America, which makes sense, said Carter, considering the Canadian company is based there itself, but it's working on branching out. “We are working in Europe with our distribution partners there, we have some applications in India, we have a couple hotels in Korea, some even in Australia,” said Carter.
Logic in Logistics
“It’s important not to be a disruption to hotel operations, that’s why some of the specific design features of Modio are designed to go into the room, not only very quickly but out of sight of the guests so that we don’t interfere with the cosmetics of the room,” said Carter. “There’s lots of places that we can go that’s out of sight from the guests. We can mount behind the television, which is a nice place for us to broadcast out and diffuse within the room. If the television is mounted on the wall, we can go under a desk, we can go under the bed. Wherever we’re out of sight from the guests and we can customize and tune Modio to hit the right spectrum of sound and right frequency coverage.”
Clicking with Clients
“I don’t think there’s one particular way to be successful in this industry,” said Carter. “I think you need to find as many touchpoints that are relevant to what you’re trying to accomplish. I find that being visible and participating as much as you are able to is very important, not only just to be able to speak and to engage, but to listen and to learn and really just be a part of the industry and understand all the moving parts of what’s happening and what’s important to hoteliers. And that way you know if you’re doing the right things or if something needs to be adjusted.” Carter specifically spoke to the role industry events have played in raising awareness around Modio. “Speaking engagements at events, attending events, whether it’s your larger trade-show style or more intimate one-on-one meeting setting, we’re finding benefit in all of those,” he said.