Multistore vs Enterprise: Is Your Software Made to Scale?

When it comes to managing a business, having the right software in place makes all the difference. However, with so many options available, it can be challenging to choose the right one. In this blog post, we'll be comparing multistore system and and enterprise management platform.

The distinction between a system and a platform is critically important. There's a significant difference in the way software is engineered and architected – and like a house or building, the foundation of the software impacts how it operates and scales. ​

Working Definition of a Multistore System

Multistore systems require that each store location be tied to a single server. This means that while each location might be operating smoothly, there is no connection between each location in the system. The result is a lack of centralized data and a holistic company-wide view. This makes it difficult or impossible for an operator to share information across stores (such as customer and inventory data) and causes businesses to waste time and resources gathering and interpreting data from each location.

Imagine wanting to know your total inventory counts, sales, online transactions, or loan and layaway balances for your entire company. With a multistore system, you'd need to run reports each week/month at every location and manually gather data, synthesize it and analyze to get critical performance KPIs that indicate the overall health of your company. Not only is this an inefficient way to measure performance, it's nearly impossible to manage effectively.

What's more, multistore systems do not support great employee or customer experiences. Customers expect a similar experience regardless of which store location of yours they visit. They want the convenience of working with you at any and all locations for shopping, loans, layaways, etc. With a multistore system, customers are not shared across locations, neither is inventory and other information that would make the customer experience seamless from one location to the next. Similarly, employee visibility into a customer profile is limited to a physical location, which means the level of service they can provide is also limited.


  • Lack of centralized data​
  • No customer or inventory sharing
  • No holistic company-wide performance view
  • Longer implementation cycles when opening a new store
  • Weak databases​
  • Bolt on products to try to integrate
  • Can't leverage APIs​ and other integrations

Working Definition of an Enterprise Platform

​It can be helpful to imagine a platform as a central place where all aspects of a business. A platform actually helps coordinate how multiple locations work together. connect. You can picture a platform as a hub, with spokes connecting all aspects of your business and all location to its center. The hub binds those disparate aspects and locations together and orchestrates them to work in unison.

When you use software that is built on a platform versus a system, you break down data silos that cost you money and limit your business intelligence because a platform collects, stores, reports, and analyzes all company, store, customer, and channel data in one centralized platform.


  • Increased flexibility. You can have different configurations by store, while still giving a holistic, company-wide view into your operation
  • Faster to scale. Ability to add locations, products, features, security simply and without days of delay
  • Improved span of control. Robust reporting provides real-time visibility into store, channel, and company performance, as well as employ
  • Easily access & control data. Flexible architecture gives you the ability to centralize and decentralize access to data by location.
  • Increased visibility. Full visibility into store, channel, company performance​ and employee performance & profitability

New call-to-action

Tips to Identify a System from a Platform

Use these questions to help identify if you're using a system or a platform​.

PRO TIP: If you're answering "no" to these questions, you're using a limited system and might want to consider switching a flexible platform.

  • Can you quickly add a new location without delays of weeks or months?​
  • Can you easily and almost instantly add eBay or other online marketplaces to your company's offerings
  • Do you have full visibility into your company-wide data?
  • Do your customers have the same experience across locations?​
  • Can you see all mobile interactions with employees & customers across all locations in one place?
  • Do you receive automatic updates & enhancements to your system several times a year?

In the specialty retail space, Bravo is the only software provider that has successfully built an enterprise management product. Bravo's platform not only allows for a better customer and employee experience, but it also gives business owners the flexibility to adapt stores to different markets. If one location would benefit from a particular product, it can be easily added to that store to try out. This adaptation is key to survival, and with the ability to see which areas of your business could benefit from different products, you can make informed decisions to grow your success!

Is your organization ready to make the move to a platform that will allow you to scale? Schedule a demo to learn more about Enterprise Management with Bravo!