Fox Head Inc, the international brand of motocross gear and action sports apparel, has selected Centric Software to provide its product lifecycle management (PLM) system.

The California-based company, whose product line includes performance apparel, protection and lifestyle clothing, will replace its existing product data management (PDM) system and spreadsheets with product specification, sourcing, calendar management and line planning modules.

According to Janet Barber, vice president of product development and production, the Centric 8 system will help improve product information management, efficiency, and gross margins throughout the entire development process of its complex products.

Fox's decision to pursue PLM came after "the pace of our growth, current and future, was faster than our ability to manage our information with our existing system." Ease of use and out-of-the-box capabilities were also important considerations.

Previously Fox used a PDM system for product information, but also "lived in a spreadsheet world," to track critical product development information - including sizing, costing, suppliers, compliance, calendars and gross margins - that fell outside the capabilities of the PDM system.

Multiple divisions, responsible for multiple products, each with up to four seasons a year, created a situation where, Barber says, "we were drowning in spreadsheets" to get the job done. Product information was stored throughout the company's computer network in myriad drives.

Fox's broad range of action sports products - ranging from T-shirts to extremely technical and complex protection products - made this environment especially challenging.

Centric's web-based system will integrate with the company's ERP system, and should speed accurate product decision-making.