The Next Generation of AHRI’s Directory of Certified Product Performance
In 2014, the AHRI Executive Committee agreed to devote substantial funds from the association’s reserve to upgrade AHRI’s IT systems, including the AHRI Directory of Certified Product Performance. The Committee chose to take this step for many reasons:
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 will adopt 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 current directory was created to house listings of all AHRI Certified® products in one searchable database. Since then, it has been added to, modified, and changed to accommodate new needs and desires, including daily regulatory reporting and ENERGY STAR participation.
The new directory has been 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 current Directory’s limited data entry capabilities results in a significant number of errors that must 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 current directory, unnecessarily complicated, non-intuitive search functions rank near the top. The new Directory will include:
- 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 will enable easy access to the Directory from the field.