B&Q, the UK's leading home improvement and gardening retailer, was founded in 1969 and now has more than 300 retail stores across the UK and Ireland. The company offers more than 30,000 products in-store, and over 300,000 more are available online for home delivery – B&Q launched its online home improvement marketplace in March of 2022.

With no formalized way of implementing fulfillment logic, B&Q urgently needed a new and improved order management system. Their online system at the time allowed shoppers to check availability at their local store, but the only way to search more broadly was to check manually, store by store, to look for a given item. As a result, a significant number of online orders were lost – canceled prior to checkout – due to the challenging user experience.

Sustainability is an extremely high priority for B&Q. Since 2016, they've cut their direct carbon emissions by 49 percent and their logistics carbon footprint by more than 28 percent. They wanted to ensure that orders were processed in the most carbon-efficient way possible, but their legacy systems lacked the functionality required to do so. Additional complexity is provided by the scale of the company's operations, with over 20 million customers per year, and by the fact that the 300,000 items offered online include products from B&Q fulfillment centers as well as drop-shipped items from a range of different manufacturers. The company required a throttled, gradual implementation in order to avoid introducing new fulfillment logic all at once on such a massive scale. It was crucial to them to deploy cautiously and in stages, ensuring reliability and accuracy at every level before committing fully to the new system.



To meet B&Q s need for a gradual implementation, Ayata implemented Fluent OMS on a throttled basis, developing a tool called Fluent Mediator to determine which orders should be assigned to Fluent and which should initially remain in B&Qs legacy system. The tool enabled B&Q to switch to Fluent carefully and incrementally over a period of several weeks.


Ayatas Fluent implementation replaced B&Q s legacy manual store-by-store search for availability with a system that automatically identifies the closest store to the customer s location that has a given item in stock, vastly improving the user experience, and shifting the burden of hunting down a given product from the customer back to the retailer.


Fluent OMS now provides B&Q with the ability to scale easily in response to the demands of its fast-growing online marketplace, to coordinate order fulfillment seamlessly between B&Q retail locations and dropship providers, and to ensure carbon efficiency by minimizing the travel distance required to fulfill each order.
B&Q immediately experienced a significant drop in the number of canceled orders thanks to the new system s ability to search globally for nearby availability.
The system s vastly improved fulfillment logic now enables B&Q to reduce carbon emissions by processing orders as efficiently as possible.
B&Q directly credits a dramatic increase in sales to the vastly improved user experience provided by Ayata s implementation.