Problem Solving – The dockXtender and iHome docks

The dockXtender has helped customers with all kinds of iPod speaker docks to easily connect their devices without having to remove their protective cases. However, there was one brand of docking system that kept giving our dockXtender problems: iHome speaker docks. We continued getting reports of the dockXtender not functioning properly with those systems. The most perplexing thing was that we could not isolate any of these reported issues.

We’d get a report about the dockXtender not working well with an iP9, then get another report of the two working together just fine. We found issues like this with multiple iHome models, and needless to say it had us scratching our heads. So, to get to the bottom of this, we picked up an iHome iP90 of our own for testing purposes. Within 10 minutes, we had it all figured out.

The problem lies with the “dock adapter inserts” used in iHome speaker docks. Most iHome docks come with a variety of dock inserts that correspond to various iPod devices. These are important if you are docking your specific iPod device into the iHome directly, so that it remains secure in an upright position, however they are not important when using the dockXtender. The inserts were preventing the dockXtender from completely connecting to the iHome, and thus preventing the cable from functioning properly. This is solved by simply removing the dock insert and connecting the dockXtender, which allows for a flush connection to be made. If only all problems were solved so simply.

Of course, we’re always here to help if you have an issue with any of our products, at service@cablejive.com.

Two Products Return To CableJive Lineup w/ Updates!

You may or may not have noticed the lack of both xlSync and 22cm iStubz cables in the color white recently. If you did notice, don’t worry, they were not discontinued. If you didn’t notice, then congrats on being blissfully unaware.

Earlier this week, both products made their return to the CableJive lineup, and they were given some updates during their time away. Each product’s packaging was tweaked slightly, and both the packaging and cables themselves now sport the redesigned CableJive logo.

In addition, the 22cm iStubz cable is now 22cm long in cable length, where as our older version measured 22cm from housing-to-housing. Not a huge difference, but that does make it a tiny bit longer than the pre-updated cable, and we think it’s a more accurate representation of what a 22cm cable should be. The xlSync also received a more internal update, which gives it improved compatibility with the iPad and iPad 2. Finally, both products sport slightly redesigned housings over each connector. We’ll be introducing these updates to the entire line of xlSync and iStubz products respectfully, within the coming weeks.

CableJive Awarded US Utility Patent for dockXtender!

Any company that develops and sells their own products knows how important it is to protect those products from people who, for whatever reason, would like to prevent you from doing so. Or worse, steal your ideas and take them as their own. Luckily, America, in all her capitalist-inspired wisdom, has protection in place for such situations in the form of the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

It’s a process that was started long ago, and culminates with exciting news today: CableJive has been awarded a US Utility Patent for the dockXtender! After many months of planing (and many hours sweated out by the CableJive legal team), we received word that on April 5th, the dockXtender was awarded US Patent No. 7,918,685. Now all that’s left is finding the appropriate frame to put it in…

15% off Home Theater Cables – Ends 4/30/2011

Ok, so maybe your home theater isn’t quite like the one above, but we can help you just the same. A few months back, we quietly introduced an entirely new category into our product line: Home Theater. We brought HDMI, Component, RCA, and Toslink cables into the CableJive family. At the time, we wanted to push new products like the dockBoss front and center, but we didn’t want to wait to start selling our home theater cables, as many customers could find those useful immediately. So we added those in with practically no promotion (on the low, if you will).

Well, consider this promotion #1. From now until the end of April (that’s 04/30/2011), get 15% off all our Home Theater cables. Just use the following coupon code at checkout:

HT411

Because really, who doesn’t need an extra HDMI cable these days (maybe your Nana)? And if there’s a home theater cable you’re looking for that we don’t sell now, drop us an email at service@cablejive.com and let us know what it is so we can consider adding it to our lineup.

Inventory Management and Forecasting for a Growing Business

dockXtender Shipment

CableJive has been looking for an inventory management and forecasting solution for a few years now.

Back in 2006 when we first started selling cables we could easily keep track of things using a spreadsheet. By 2008 we had added enough new products from a variety of suppliers and manufacturers that it was time for something more.

I looked around and couldn’t find what we needed; a simple, powerful inventory tracking and forecasting solution that would easily integrate into an existing business. We didn’t need a full ERP system, our other systems were working well and sufficient for us. We just needed a system that would track our inventory and give us basic reports so we could keep inventory in stock. With no good fit to be found, CableJive developed a homegrown piece of software that integrated very nicely as an add-on to our order management system.

Fast forward to 2011, CableJive has continued to grow (yea!) which means more products and suppliers, all handled well by our CableJive inventory add-on. What isn’t handled so well is that we now have multiple warehouses and multiple fulfillment centers shipping orders. We need to know a lot more than just how much inventory is in stock and when to order more. We need to know the overall picture of our inventory, but also how much is at each warehouse and how to allocate new inventory to the various locations in such a way that each one has the right amount to get through until more arrives. We’re in a painful spot trying to manage all of this manually.

So we’re in the hunt again for a small business inventory management solution. More details to come on what we’ve found as we’re digging into the options.

The dockBoss – Back & Better Than Ever

I’ve been writing about some of our other dock input solutions lately, such as the Dock Input Cable and the discontinued Universal Dock Converter, but I realized that I have yet to write about the one that people should REALLY know about – the dockBoss.

Ever since we became aware of the limitations the Dock Input Cable faced when dealing with more sophisticated iPod systems (mainly in vehicles or complex stereo integrations), we’ve been obsessed with taking that idea to the next level. Physically providing the connections is nice, but it quickly became clear that if we wanted to make a product that had the best chance at working across a number of iPod systems, some kind of added “intelligence” would be necessary.

So, in late 2010, we did a trial run of the dockBoss – the world’s first intelligent dock input solution. We released it into the wild, and the results were fantastic. While it didn’t work with all systems across the board (sorry Volkswagen owners), it certainly worked in many other situations where the Dock Input Cable had failed. Better yet, is the possibility for the dockBoss to be compatible with even more systems down the line via firmware upgrades. Needless to say, the trial run was a success.

The dockBoss became so popular, that we ran out of our initial inventory much faster than expected. As a result, it has been out of stock for the last month or so. That is until today, where I am thrilled to announce that the dockBoss is back in stock and better than ever (including our shiny new logo). So if you’re itching to play quality audio from your laptop, Android phone, non-iPod mp3 player, etc., through your iPod-only audio system, then hurry up and give the dockBoss a try!

New Logo! Well…sort of.

This year’s CES, our first, was undoubtedly a success for us. We made so many great contacts and met a ton of awesome people. We were ecstatic to finally have a presence at the biggest show our industry has to offer. We came away from it with so much, but one thing that stuck out was the number of people who were seeing us (and our logo) for the first time, and thought our name was “Cable Live.” This wasn’t the first time we’d heard that before, but at CES we certainly heard it a lot more than ever before.

Upon further review, we get where the confusion was coming from. As a result, we have made a slight adjustment to our logo to make that “J” a bit more…ummmm…”J-e-er.” You get the point. Keep your eyes peeled for the new logo from here on out.