Footwear maker Crocs Inc is implementing product lifecycle management (PLM) software to help manage its product development process, including concept, design and sourcing.

Crocs will roll out the Centric 8 PLM suite from Centric Software on a worldwide basis to hundreds of users, including suppliers and partners, and integrate the tool with its SAP enterprise software.

The software "will help Crocs speed development, and gain visibility earlier in the product development cycle to make better decisions," explained chief product officer Dale Bathum.

He added that the firm will be able to make product "go/no-go" decisions by determining whether to go forward with a product while still in the midst of the development cycle.

Importantly, says Bathum, the company can continually re-evaluate and validate decisions based on changing cost and product inputs, gaining the ability to make go/no-go decisions as needed throughout the product development process. This will help maximise impact on strategic business objectives and minimise product development costs.

Crocs will implement two of Centric's mobile apps in the deployment: Centric 8 Collection Book for Fashion iPad and Capture It for iPhone. The Collection Book for Fashion iPad app will allow the company to link its footwear collections in the PLM system to corporate and retail buyers in the showroom through an interactive mobile device.

The Capture It for iPhone app will let Crocs users take and upload photos directly to the Centric 8 PLM system, making them instantly available for review, mark-up and analysis.

Crocs offers several shoe collections with more than 300 four-season footwear styles made from its Croslite material.