Trade Engine can be implemented in a wide variety of industries and sectors to provide a complete approach to Quality Management, Compliance Management, Customer Relationship Management and Project Management. The platform ultimately ensures that organisations continually improve their processes and procedures, which leads to increased customer satisfaction and profitability.
We are often asked the following questions about our platform, our services and our approach. We have tried to provide answers to these that are as detailed as possible, but recognise that our potential customers may require further information. If this is the case, please fill out our contact from, or alternatively, call us on 0330 223 0606. Our office hours are 9am to 6pm, Monday to Friday.
If you’re looking for an answer to a specific question, the quickest option may be to use our search facility below.
A Quality Management System (QMS) is a defined set of policies, processes and procedures that are required to plan and then execute the core business activities of an organisation. These core activites are areas that can impact a business’ ability to meet its customer requirements. ISO 9001:2008 is an example of a Quality Management System.
A ‘Cloud QMS’ like Trade Engine is a software implementation of a Quality Management System. In contrast to a paper-based QMS, a Cloud QMS allows the organisation to dynamically specify and apply implementation and service requirements, as well as track and analyse their adherence to and performance in-line with their policies, processes and procedures.
Cloud QMS systems, and Trade Engine in particular, have additional benefits too: they can be accessed by multiple people across multiple sites or locations, using a range of devices.
Trade Engine is a dynamic platform that ensures your organisation stays on-track with its obligations. It is different to many other QMS’, including some that are cloud-based, because it contains everything that your business needs to run and manage successful internal operations.
Some features (many of which are not present in other QMS platforms) include:
- A ‘generic’ platform that can implement almost any standard within your organisation;
- The ability to build your own processes, projects, forms and documents for deployment;
- A unique approach to Risk Management and Corrective and Preventative Actions (CAPA);
- A ‘one for all’ solution that works regardless or business size, capacity, location or industry;
- Inclusion of invoicing, as well as business and financial planning tools;
- Data import and export functions to/from other QMS platforms as well as common accounting software;
- Commonly merges the work of between 3 and 4 existing applications into one.
The best way to understand Trade Engine is to arrange a demonstration, along with speaking to a member of our team about how it will be deployed within your business.
We offer the support that your business requires to achieve and maintain a variety of certifications.
Full remote training and technical support is included within all our packages. Any Trade Engine user can telephone or e-mail us, free of any charges, and speak to a member of our technical consultancy team during their license period. This includes all information and support that you may require to become accredited against a certain standard in the first instance.
We also offer publicly-available and on-site training courses for larger organisations (e.g., those who have more than 15 employees that need to use our Cloud QMS). If your organisation fits this description, please contact us to discuss how to deploy our software and an associated training programme.
In certain instances, we are able to award CPD credits against a number of different schemes.
Our Cloud QMS contains a number of essential features, powered by data-mining technologies, to ensure that your organisation remains compliant on a day-to-day basis and has the tools it needs to gain a complete picture of its compliance and progress characteristics.
From ‘instant snapshots’ to in-depth reporting, we provide everything your business needs to achieve continual process improvement. Trade Engine can manage your contracts, supply chain, risks, issues and CAPA (Corrective and Preventative Actions) and will present this information to you in a clear and understandable fashion.
Please take a look at our Features Gallery to gain more insight into the benefits of our solution.
Trade Engine provides you with the tools, processes and procedures that you need to become certified against a wide variety of standards. However, we are not a Certification Body ourselves (if we were to become one, there would be a conflict of interest).
Instead, we have developed strong relationships with the majority of UKAS-accredited bodies, many of whom have approved or pre-verified our solution, training and platform. We can generally assist our customers in obtaining quicker audit lead times, as well as discounts on certification fees in certain cases.
We recommend a number of certification options to our users and let them choose the one that best suits their requirements, which is usually predicated in terms of price and lead time to their initial audit.
ISO 9001 is one of the standards in the ISO 9000 series of standards, as defined and managed by the International Standards Organisation. It specifies the Quality Management requirements that an organisation must adhere to.
At its core, Trade Engine is an implementation if ISO 9001. It allows an organisation to manage its skills, processes, procedures, supply chain, risks and issues, resources and projects. Furthermore, Trade Engine defines a hierarchy for Project Management, whereby projects are subdivided into jobs and then into tasks.
This collection of functions provides organisations with everything they need to become ISO 9001 accredited, as well as retain accreditation and allow key personnel to stay ‘on-top’ of such activities on a daily basis.
There are currently thousands ISO standards in application globally. Trade Engine does not claim to implement them all, although the platform is configurable to meet the requirements of most.
There are, however, a small set that almost every organisation must adhere to. These are catered for entirely within Trade Engine:
- ISO 9001 – Quality Management
- ISO 14001 – Environmental Management
- ISO 27001 – Information Security Management
Alongside such standards, our software platform also implements a number of PAS (Publicly Available Specifications) as well as the requirements of MCS (Microgeneration Installer Standard) and WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment recycling). We also provide implementation and support for Occupational Health and Safety standards, such as OHSAS 18001.
PAS 2030 is a ‘Publicly Available Specification’ (a form of standard) published by the British Standards Institute. It is entitled “Improving the energy efficiency of existing buildings” and outlines the Quality Management, implementation and service requirements for any such works as undertaken by installers or tradespeople.
PAS 2030 is one of the standards, along with the Green Deal Code of Practice, that underpins the UK Government’s ECO and Green Deal Schemes. All installers working under these schemes, as well as those undertaking certain types of work for Housing Associations or Local Authorities, must adhere to this standard for all works carried out. However, PAS 2030 is not just applicable to these particular schemes and is used in other areas where existing domestic or commercial buildings are being upgraded from an energy efficiency perspective.
PAS 2030 includes 26 defined energy efficiency measures (EEMs) in the current version – PAS 2030:2017, which the Trade Engine PAS 2030 QMS is fully-compliant with.
MCS is an initialisation that stands for Microgeneration Certification Scheme. The scheme is composed of a number of different standards that installers of renewable energy technologies must adhere to. The MIS 001 (Microgeneration Installer Standard) is the main standard which governs this scheme. A series of sub-standards cover the installation and service requirements of the individual renewable energy technologies. These are:
- MIS 3001 – Solar Thermal
- MIS 3002 – Solar PV
- MIS 3003 – Small and Micro Wind Turbines
- MIS 3004 – Biomass Boilers
- MIS 3005 – Ground & Air-source Heat Pumps
- MIS 3006 – Micro-Hydro Systems
- MIS 3007 – Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Systems
The Trade Engine Cloud QMS contains all required functionalities to support and manage the Quality Management requirements of MCS installer businesses.
A Certification Body assesses your organisation’s compliance with certain standards and awards a certificate or accreditation to demonstrate this. In the UK, all Certification Bodies must be UKAS Accredited.
Your organisation’s implementation of, or indeed compliance with, a defined Quality Management System does not mean that it is accredited to such standards. Rather, this will only be achieved once it has been assessed at a formal audit by a Certification Body.
Such bodies cannot provide you with your Quality Management System, and nor can Trade Engine provide you with your Certification (either way would result in a conflict of interests).
That said, we work with the majority of UKAS Certification Bodies to offer seamless routes to certification for a wide variety of businesses. Our links with these bodies mean that our users often pay less for certification than if they were to approach such organisations directly.
We have recently witnessed significant interest in our services due to the UK Government’s Green Deal scheme.
The Green Deal offers consumers an alternative mechanism to pay for energy efficiency improvements to their homes. This is achieved by homeowners and private tenants taking out Green Deal finance to pay for improvements such as insulation, double glazing, a replacement boiler or even renewable technologies such as solar panels, biomass or ground-source heat pumps.
Green Deal finance is repaid through savings made on the residents’ electricity bills. It effectively means that household bills should be reduced and that any such savings go towards the repayment of the Green Deal plan, which funds the energy efficiency measures installed. Once this is paid off, the homeowner or tenant can take full advantage of the savings made.
We offer Quality Management and Compliance services to all parties involved in the Green Deal, including:
- Green Deal Installers
- Green Deal Advisors
- Green Deal Providers
For further information on how we can assist your business in this regard, please refer to our Services page.
The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) is a UK Government Scheme that allows homeowners, businesses and tenants to take advantage of Renewable Heat Technologies, receiving some financial incentives for their installation.
Incentives vary based on the technologies installed and the energy consumption of the property in question.
All RHI work must be completed by an MCS registered installer, in-line with the Microgeneration Installer Standard(s) that are applicable. Trade Engine can provide a complete MCS QMS system that also includes full Customer Relationship and Project Management.
To become a Green Deal or ECO installer, you need to demonstrate that your business meets the requirements of PAS 2030. This is a straightforward process:
- You will need a Quality Management System in place across your business that meets all the necessary requirements for installation, process management and service provision, as set out in the PAS 2030 standard. Trade Engine provides this.
- You must adhere to the Green Deal Code of Practice (GD CoP).
- Your organisation must be assessed by a UKAS Certification Body, who will register you with the Green Deal Oversight and Registration Body and, at the same time, will license you to begin using the Green Deal Quality Mark.
Trade Engine, as an independent supplier of Quality Management and Compliance solutions, can help you with all these things. Our solution covers everything from logging incoming leads to managing your supply chain, including dealing with any problems, risks and issues that may present themselves.
We also offer an impartial Managed Complaince Service to assist Green Deal Installers in processing their work and ensuring it is fully-compliant with all required standards. This is an optional service, which our users can choose to engage on a per-job or per-project basis.
Becoming an MCS installer is a similar process to becoming a Green Deal / PAS 2030 installer.
First, you need to get a Quality Management System in place that fully-implements the criteria of the various MCS standards. Trade Engine can provide this, along with all training and technical support your business requires.
The next step is to identify a Certification Body, who will audit your business processes (contained within your MCS QMS) against the relevant standards.
Finally, an on-site inspection of an example project will be scheduled to ensure that your installs and practical work meet all the necessary requirements.
Following this, you will be issued with your MCS Installer Accrediation. Once achieved, you will be able to use the Trade Engine QMS platform to manage all your work, from logging incoming leads, through to install and customer handover. Trade Engine will generate all necessary quotations, contracts and certificates for you.