At the service of cutting-edge research

Many external companies work for CERN, including ISS, a market leader in the area of service provision. In an article, republished in full below, due to appear in the next edition of the ISS Magazine, the company puts CERN in the spotlight. Take a moment to discover how an external company sees CERN.


CERN is a world-renowned research facility. ISS, with its 100-strong workforce ensures that the scientists can concentrate 100% on science.
Since 1954, scientists from all corners of the globe have been seeking out the origins of the Universe at CERN, the European Laboratory for Particle Physics. CERN has been responsible for ground-breaking discoveries and inventions, such as the Worldwide Web in 1989. The task entrusted to ISS by CERN is as unusual as the laboratory is extraordinary. What started as a simple window-cleaning contract in 1967 has now evolved into a complex logistics operation.

Keeping storage costs low
For the past 25 years, ISS have been organising CERN's stores management. Some 12,000 items, from erasers and office hardware to scientific equipment, are centrally stored and then delivered to anyone who orders them. The reliable operation of the postal service is another facet of the logistics operation. All year round, seven ISS employees ensure that 680,000 letters are delivered to the correct address on the CERN sites. They also collect the 80,000 letters bound for Switzerland and the 70,000 letters sent to countries in the EU.
Fragile goods are handled with care while the transport of hazardous materials is entrusted to outside firms with specialised vehicles. In such cases, ISS assists with the paperwork and packaging.

Reliability the key to success
Every five years, the contract held by ISS is re-tendered. Thanks to the high quality of our work, ISS have not only secured CERN's continued trust but we have increased the scope of our services to the Organization. We have added quite a number of unusual tasks to our portfolio over the years. For example, ISS are responsible for maintaining the 1,300 oxygen masks which safeguard the lives of those working underground in the event of an emergency. We also demonstrate our ability to take on a diverse range of tasks in the operation of the water-jet cutting machine, which uses up to 3000 bar pressures to manufacture precision components for scientific experiments. CERN has placed its trust in ISS specialised staff, right from the drawing board all the way to computer-assisted manufacturing.

Around-the-clock presence
ISS also runs the CERN hostels. The three buildings offer a total of 500 beds for scientists and students wishing to stay on the CERN site for periods sometimes a long as two months. The 40-strong ISS team takes care of every aspect of the hostel operations, including customer care, general cleaning, from the façades to the rooms, technical services and price negotiations with outside hotels.

The ISS transport service has been helping customers and staff get from A to B on the 200-hectare CERN site since 2007. Eleven ISS staff are present around-the-clock, planning and executing the transport services on and around the CERN sites. It has been our honour to attend to the transport needs of such high-profile visitors as the German Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel and the former French President Jacques Chirac.

by ISS Magazine