Deliveries from Wolseley UK distribution centres to branches are becoming more efficient than ever, thanks to the introduction of geofencing digital mapping technology.

Geofencing is a system where virtual 'fences' are drawn around a location. When a delivery vehicle 'hits' one of these fences, an automatic alert is triggered, letting the recipient know that the driver is just 20 minutes away.

Wolseley UK's Melmerby Distribution Centre has been trialling geofencing on three branch delivery routes, and has received outstanding feedback from all the branches involved.

Nye Whittaker, branch manager at Beverley Plumb Center, said: "Geofencing is a great invention! The automated alerts let us know when a delivery is due so that we can prepare accordingly. It's really handy if a customer is waiting on a particular item, as we can call ahead and let them know that their order will arrive with the hour."

The one-hour delivery slots for each branch are based on analysis of data that tracks the time each vehicle leaves a distribution centre and when it enters the geofenced proximity of each branch on its itinerary.

Alan Newton, head of distribution and fleet at Wolseley UK, added: "As the leading distributer in our industry we are keen to embrace any new technology that will help us improve our service. Ultimately, we want branches to be able to order their goods as late as 5pm, and still be guaranteed delivery within a one-hour time slot the next day."

Geofencing and automated delivery alerts will be in place across the entire Wolselely UK delivery network by the end of April 2015.