Hunter Engineering wants to help dealers design their service department


Lawrence Papoff

Renovating your service department? Planning a new one? Hunter Engineering has software that lets you see what it would look like right down to the service advisors’ desks. Then you can walk around it.

Developed by ECDESIGN AB, a Swedish company, the software lets you plan the shop layout and see what it would look like in 3D.

“Drawing up the plans is expensive,” says Dino Hatz, Hunter Engineering’s business development manager for Canada.

“Ecdesign allows the dealer to put things where they want them to go and then bring in the architect.

The dealer can take control of the design process … It gives the freedom to be able to think ‘What if we made the ceilings taller? What if we put a door there … or added another lift or a lounge for our customers?’ ”

He marvels at the results, which are so realistic you can even see the chrome shining on the cars in the lube bays.

He explains that the software design process lets the dealer draw up the floor plan size and where they want the equipment to go.

If it’s a renovation project, he recommends starting with a panoramic shot of the service department taken with a smartphone. If there’s a PDF of the old shop blue prints handy, that can go into the program as well.

“If you are renovating, you can move things around – wheel balancers and tire changers … You can move them for better spacing to save steps and be more efficient. Then you have the picture of where things are,” he says.

There’s a library of OEM-recommended items such as floor coverings and equipment that can be added with the click of a mouse.

Hatz says the software has a library of generic equipment including a picture of a large truck so that the dealer can figure out turning angles or punch holes in walls to make room for trucks in the service department.

If the dealer wants to draw in a garage door, they can select the location size and the finish. It’s all in the system.

Once the design is done, download it to a smartphone and put the phone in a Google Cardboard Viewer.

“You can walk around the room you have designed and see how much space there is,” Hatz says.

John Peron, Hunter Engineering’s director of Canadian operations, says the tool is a powerful tool for dealerships with stale drive-thrus or lube lanes.

“It lets dealers see what they can do for a very minimal investment to make a significant change for the customer and to recapture customer loyalty.”

For more information about the Ecdesign software, contact Dino Hatz, 289-319-0934, or visit