The Next Generation of AHRI’s Directory of Certified Product Performance
Several additional features and modifications were introduced following the initial January 2018 launch of the “NextGen” AHRI Directory. At its November 2018 meeting, the AHRI Board of Directors committed funding to further enhance the performance and functionality of the Directory.
These enhancements will prioritize improving user confidence in data, data publication, regulatory reporting, and data accessibility. As part of this effort, AHRI will share more information with manufacturers regarding DOE submission, record publication, CEE Tier, and ENERGY STAR approvals, as well as introduce a more user-friendly and efficient ENERGY STAR submission feature, and fine-tune performance for faster record querying.
These changes will be released throughout 2019, and will be communicated to all users via the NextGen Directory Weekly Update email. The original new features of the Directory are outlined below.
Data protection is essential for every organization, and in an era of increasing security risks, the decision to upgrade AHRI’s directory made substantial sense. With more than two million product entries and its use as the vehicle for federal regulatory reporting, data security is of paramount importance. The new Directory adopts the latest security practice and protocol. The software is built on a platform that will easily accommodate future security upgrades.
Building for its Intended Use
The old Directory was created to house listings of all AHRI Certified® products in one searchable database. Since then, it was modified and changed to accommodate new needs and desires, including daily regulatory reporting and ENERGY STAR participation.The new Directory was built from the ground up, specifically to accommodate not only today’s data storage and reporting needs but also the data needs for the future of the certification program.
Accurate Regulatory Reporting
Because AHRI reports certification information to the Department of Energy on a daily basis, it is imperative that the information be readily accessible and accurate. The old Directory’s limited data entry capabilities resulted in a significant number of errors that had to be corrected and submitted to DOE. The new Directory makes it easier for participants to load data in a secure, accurate manner.
Building for the Future
The vision for AHRI’s Certification Directory is a secure, user-friendly, easily accessible database through which participants can list certified products and users can easily access those listings for the purpose of commerce and customer service. The new Directory was built with substantial input from stakeholders at all levels of the chain, members, certification participants, contractors, specifiers, federal agency staff, and others, with an eye toward the ultimate goal of the most useful, accessible directory possible.
Improving Ease of Use
Among the many issues end users report with the old Directory, unnecessarily complicated, non-intuitive search functions rank near the top. The new Directory includes:
- Universal Search across all programs
- Smart Quick Search with auto suggestions
- Advanced detailed Search
- Search on discontinued and obsolete models
- Multi-lingual support in English, Chinese, Arabic, Spanish, Korean, and French
In addition, a mobile app for both IOS and Android platforms enable easy access to the Directory from the field.