About HCSD

High Country Service Data is a family owned and run company whose origins date back to 1973.

In 1973, Stephen Rendell established a Television sales & repair business in Exeter, a small village in the Southern Highlands of NSW. After working from home for several years, Steve decided to move his service business to Moss Vale (about 10kms north of Exeter), where the business remained until 1992.

In 1987, his eldest son Warwick started working with him part time, and in 1989, after completing his School Certificate, joined the business as a full time Audio technician, servicing CD players and consumer Hi-Fi equipment.

Throughout the years that Moss Vale Vision and Sound (as the business had become known) had been running, Steve had made a special point of collecting and cataloguing Service Manuals. A Service Manual is a handbook supplied by the manufacturer of electronic equipment to their service centres to enable repair of particular units.

Occasionally, other technicians would contact Steve to see if he had a particular service manual for a unit they were servicing, which they were unable to obtain from the manufacturer. Often this would be due to the unit's obsolescence, in which case the manufacturer might no longer have the service manual required in stock, or sometimes the manufacturer of the equipment had ceased trading.

In early 1990, the requests for manuals started to increase as word of the library of service manuals got around. Steve started to formalise the way in which the library (which by then contained nearly three thousand manuals) was handled so that he could keep track of who had which manuals. Starting out as notation on the storage bags that the manuals were kept in, eventually Steve wrote some software into the computer system that the business ran on to enable him to keep track of the current location of each of the manuals out on loan.

By 1991, the Australian financial landscape was rather bleak. In the midst of the recession Australia "had to have", costs were going up, and profits were going down. Moss Vale Vision and Sound was not very healthy.

Running at a loss for quite some time, the business limped through 1991, until in September of that year, it hit a wall. During the previous 2 years, work had increased, but due to many of the units being under Manufacturer Warranty, there was very little, if any, profit in it.

The hardest decision any small business has to make was upon us. Keep trading or close the doors on an eighteen year old business?. In the midst of our discussions a still, small voice piped up. "What about the library?" Indeed, what about the library? Since 1990, the number of technicians using "the library", as we were referring to it, had increased exponentially. By this stage there were over a hundred technicians calling regularly to borrow manuals. What had started out as a sideline, became a lifeline. In the middle of September 1991, Moss Vale Vision & Sound closed its doors to the public for the last time. The pricing structure for rental manuals was formalised, and Moss Vale Vision & Sound officially became a "service data rental library".

Word of mouth travels fast. Within six months the 1200 sq. foot premises were too small.

Premises that had suited the service business perfectly became cramped to the point of uselessness. There were shelves with boxes of manuals on them, desks covered with boxes, the floor was covered with them & manuals were everywhere. The business' small photocopier was rapidly wearing itself out with the constant use. Another impasse, this one created by success.

In Easter of 1992, Moss Vale Vision & Sound relocated to Cooma, in the New South Wales Snowy Mountains, and with the move came a new trading name. High Country Service Data was born. 1994 saw HCSD enter new territory. Several electronics manufacturers approached HCSD to outsource supply of the service manuals to warranty service centres, and supply of instruction manuals to the general public. It is said that junk expands to fill the available space. Apparently, so do service manuals. In 1995, HCSD relocated to a larger building next door to our original premises. In August of 1996, High Country Service Data was formally restructured and became a company, HCSD Pty Ltd.

As HCSD has grown, we have concentrated on improving the quality of our service to the customer. This has included this installation of high-end Océ printing equipment, several information technology upgrades - and another move.

In April of 1998 we came to the conclusion that the offices and work rooms that had been built in 1995 were beginning to hamper our growth. We had been forced by circumstance to build our offices within the structures that were in place inside the Fachin Building, but ultimately these offices created poor workflow, and were too spread out. After weighing up the pros & cons, the decision was made to relocate rather than attempting to rebuild. The building work began in early May 1998, and in late June we moved into new premises in the "LongHouse".

The move to the LongHouse promised better workflow and productivity. By 1999 the business had reached a peak of strength, with 19 staff members and over 40,000 clients worldwide (most in the South Pacific region).

With the state of the electronic industry, it was thought that the business would only get stronger. However this strong period would not last.

After the turn of the century, in the year 2000, the government introduced the GST. Coincidently the business hit some turbulence as the electronic industry suffered the beginning of a downturn that in years to come, would only get worse. As to whether or not the GST caused the downturn in the industry, there is no way to be sure, but it certainly did nothing to help HCSD keep going strong.

To try and help release some of the pressure the management sat down and discussed ways to improve business productivity while at the same time cutting costs. It turned out that automation and technology was going to be the thing to save the struggling business. The business soon after started scanning manuals into digital format and printing only what it needed instead of printing extras to store on shelves to sell at a later date.

As it is with most businesses, to stay afloat while business is struggling, overheads must be cut and you must learn to work smarter instead of harder. As adaptation of technology improved, our need for staff decreased. Staff we had plenty of and with an inability to afford to keep them on, our employee numbers soon decreased. Over the next 5 years employee numbers would drop (including 2 of the directors who left to pursue other interests), until only 4 people remained, all being family members.

In late July, 2005 the business was surviving, but with only 4 staff instead of 19, we were paying for a lot of space we didn't need, the premises we had moved into 7 years earlier was now too big. So again some hard decisions had to be made. Looking for more than just a change of building, it was decided to move the business to a new town. Since all the business really needed to operate was a town with a good postal service, the search was on for a new business location. After a few months of searching, with more than a few reasons, Kilmore in country Victoria was chosen as a new place of business and residence

On the 23rd of December 2005, the biggest move HCSD would ever make, began. Over the next 4 months, HCSD slowly moved all stock, computers, equipment, and personal belongings of management from their houses, to Kilmore. Easter weekend 2006, would signify the end of the move and end of a chapter for the business.

Due to circumstances out of the control of the management of HCSD, and the dwindling electronic industry the management of HCSD was once again forced to look at the future of the business. Unable to continue running the business from Kilmore and still owning houses in Cooma the decision was made to get rid of a lot of unused stock and make preparations to move the business back to Cooma. The moving of the business back to Cooma ended at Easter of 2008 and so the 2 years operating in Kilmore came to an end. During this time, due to further downturn in the electronic industry, the business decided to return to it's roots as a partnership as part of the management left the business to pursue other careers and business opportunities.

Although HCSD is not the giant company it used to be, it continues to perform an invaluable service by supplying service manuals and information to the electronic industry. So all in all HCSD was in Cooma for exactly 14 years, was in Kilmore for 2 years and is now residing back in Cooma striving to stay an important part of the electronic industy.

In 2011, the decision was made to close the rental library, and supply Service Manuals only in PDF format. User Manuals can still be ordered in printed format.

In 2012, the decision was made to branch into web hosting (since we already hosted our own website and forums). Accordingly, arrangements were made to have a larger internet pipe, but ADSL2 services in Cooma were still unreliable.

In 2013, the NBN came to Cooma in the form of WIMAX rather than ADSL2. This allowed for a faster and more stable internet service, which also resulted in growth of our Web Hosting. One of the family had also branched into Website Development and Graphic Design. Thus was born Ultimate Tech Services.

In 2014, after much consideration and research, HCSD has branched into the supply and support of Internet Telephone Systems (VOIP) with our own brand name but part of a major Australian VOIP provider. We have used VOIP ourselves since 2007, and feel that we know and understand the product well. We feel very strongly that support should be in Australia, not overseas.

On the 23rd November 2014, Steve's wife of 42 years and business partner died from metastatic breast cancer. Steve has decided to continue the business since he remains in good health. The primary business focus will be VOIP Telephony, and Web Hosting services, but manuals will still be supported and clients will still receive personal service.