OSI Group, The Rise of Humble Butcher

The OSI Group, a name known in the international market as a supply powerhouse, has some very humble beginnings. The founder, Otto Kolschowsky, came to the United states at the turn of the century looking for his chance in the land of opportunity. This dream started with Mr. Kolschowsky opening a local meat retail and butcher shop in Oak Park on the west side of Chicago. By the end of the first World War, this small shop had expanded to working in wholesale and expanded its operations to the suburb of Maywood. Within another decade the business had been renamed Otto and Sons and continued to flourish.

Otto and Sons continued to prosper for decades. A faithful move based around a handshake with the soon to be CEO of the McDonald’s franchise would seal the fate of this company to be on the path to having an international presence. Over the next few decades, as McDonalds grew, Otto and Son’s grew. The business model that Ray Kroc was implementing to expand his business, what is now known as the franchise model, propelled the two companies to expanding all across the United States. This presented a new challenge for Otto and Sons. How to keep the burgers they were supplying Kroc’s expanding business so that the product was constantly fresh. This challenge lead to the flash freezing technology being developed and implemented for their shipments across the country.

In 1975, after years of partnering with Kroc and even opening a dedicated plant to chain, Otto and Sons changed their name to OSI Group. Their revolutionary technology now allowing them to serve burgers all across the globe to Kroc’s chain, but also allowing them to start picking up other proteins for international shipments. The next few decades are history as the OSI Group is now an international giant in food processing and distribution. The OSI Group is now not only a multi billion dollar a year business as of 2016, but also an award winner of the Globe of Honour award from the British Safety Council. All of this from the humble beginings of Otto Kolschowsky, a German immigrant and holder of his own legacy.


OSI Food Solutions: Making A Concerted Effort To Expand Internationally

When German immigrant Otto Kolschowsky founded his family meat market Otto & Sons in 1909 in Oak Park, Illinois, it was known for its quality products. Today, over 109 years later, the name of the company has changed to OSI Food Solutions, but its reputation for quality products still endures. However, while the company originally primarily served customers in the Chicago area, OSI Food Solutions now has millions of customers in 85 different countries on 5 continents. Plus, the company no longer just supplies meat. OSI Food Solutions also provides dough, vegetable, poultry and fish products.

By the 1920s, Otto & Sons had increased their customer base to include restaurants and supermarkets throughout Illinois. In the 1950s they expanded their customer base by agreeing to provide beef patties for the McDonald’s franchise as it grew nationally. When Sheldon Lavin took over the company in the 1980s, he not only changed its name to OSI Food Solutions, he began taking the company’s products to a worldwide audience. Today, OSI Food Solutions has 70 facilities for processing food in 17 countries. Still, the focus of the company has remained providing the highest quality products.

Europe has been a major target of the global expansion efforts of OSI Food Solutions. The company recently acquired Netherlands based Baho Foods and UK based Flagship Europe. Adding those companies to its portfolio gives OSI Food Solutions new customers in an additional 23 European countries. The company also has food production facilities and customers in Hungary, Poland and Spain. But by using both acquisition and the building of new facilities, OSI Food Solutions continues to add millions of customers. Yet they were still able to win the British Safety Council’s Globe of Honor for excellent environmental sustainability practices in its facilities.

OSI Food Solutions has also made major inroads in Asia. It has facilities and customers in India, Japan and the Philippines. The company also has a huge customer base in China. The 10 poultry processing facilities it has built there over the past two decades has made it China’s largest poultry processor. Plus, OSI Food Solutions provides dough, vegetable and meat products to McDonald’s, Pizza Hut, Papa John’s Pizza, Subway, Starbucks and many other Western fast food companies that operate in China. OSI Food Solutions also creates many delicious, nutritious products designed to meet the unique taste of its customers in China, India and throughout Asia.

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How OSI Industries Became A Top 100 Food Business

OSI Industries is a premier global supplier of processed food. Their clients are foodservice companies and retail food brands. They are one of America’s biggest privately held companies and are based in Aurora, Illinois. They have more than 65 facilities around the world and they employ over 20,000 people. Because of their size and reach they can support any company’s current global presence and future growth. They offer customized food options that meet each client’s exact requirements with consistency.

It was in 1909 that OSI Industries was founded by the company really took off in size in the 1970s when it began to expand globally. At first they expanded into Europe, in the 1980s, and then into Asia and Australia in the 1990s. They are one of the United States top 100 food brands last year ranking #65 on this list. Because they have built a global supply chain this is a highly efficient company and it can deliver customized food products that maximizes their client’s opportunities.

OSI Industries is committed to food safety and quality assurance. Each facility, for example, has perimeter cameras and internal cameras to monitor the food they are processing as well as everyone entering their facilities. They use stringent tracking systems as well as secure transportation where the food is always kept at optimal temperatures for health and taste. They set standards at this company often exceed regulatory requirements. This includes animal welfare and food safety standards.

Sometimes OSI Industries expands through acquisitions of other firms the food industry. This occurred twice in 2016 with the first acquisition being Baho Foods. This was a privately held Dutch business that had five subsidiaries including Q Smart Life, Vital Convenience, Gelderland Frischware, Bakx Foods, and Henri van de Bilt. They made deli meats, snacks, and other convenience foods. John Balvers and been the managing director of Baho Foods. When the purchase was completed he remained with this company as well as his whole management team.

Later in 2016, OSI Industries took a controlling stake in Flagship Europe. This company provided service to the United Kingdom foodservice market. They also had a number of subsidiaries as part of the purchase such as Calder Foods. The chief executive officer of this company, Russell Maddock, also stayed on after the purchase of his company and his management team as well. He said his company being acquired by OSI Industries would open up many new opportunities for his business.

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OSI Group Is Expanding Its Quality, Custom Food Offerings To Reach A Global Audience Better

The OSI Group, which is a custom food provider that offers foods of only the highest of quality, is looking to expand its operations, globally. With seven new production and processing facilities opening up in the last year, it is moving forward into a new era, and the company’s president, David McDonald, has explained that it is not only expansion that the company seeks but also the means to offer its existing customer base more. As part of a renewed effort, OSI is looking to give their customers more of what they want including more natural and organic choices as well as the choice to order specialty products versus only having access to the most affordable options.

Recently, OSI Group acquired a 200,000 square-foot plant in the the Chicago area for $7.4 million that was formerly ran by the Tyson Foods. The facility is going to be able to support the company with their local offerings as well as their nationwide and worldwide offerings. On top of this purchase, OSI Group also purchased Flagship Europe, which is a company that offers pies, sandwich fillings, poultry, sauces, and more, and David McDonald stated that the purchase gives them a broader capability to meet the needs of their growing customer base. The final of three recent purchases includes the acquisition of the Dutch convenience food manufacturer, Baho Foods, and this purchase is expected to help the company serve their European audience more as well as service the company’s already existing customer base in 18 European companies. Sheldon Lavin, the CEO of the OSI Group, believes in running the company more like a family rather than a business, and under his leadership, OSI now is operating in 17 countries and boasts over 65 facilities.

The OSI Group grew out of the domestic company, Otto and Sons, which was based in Chicago. It was the partnering with Sheldon Lavin that helped to expand the company beyond the city, itself. OSI Group prides itself in focusing on being a sustainable company that works to not only serve but also to improve the communities that it serves. The company, of late, has refocused its efforts on ensuring that its products are of the highest quality and that they not only meet but exceed safety and health standards. To be sure of this, OSI Group has begun to install tech in its facilities that monitors all steps of the food manufacturing and storing processes taking place there.

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Sheldon Lavin, OSI Group CEO

Mr. Sheldon Lavin, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of OSI Group is very well regarded amongst his peers in the meat and food processing industry, helping to take his company from a local upstart to a global powerhouse over the span of several decades. While Mr. Lavin is the CEO of OSI Group, he also holds several other important titles, including President of OSI International Foods Ltd. In order to ensure that his company continues to operate at the highest standards, Mr. Lavin is still very heavily involved with the daily operations of OSI Group.

While Mr. Lavin’s position at the top of the meat and food processing industry is solidified today, he entered the industry as an outsider when help was asked to help secure funding for Otto and Son’s in 1970. During this period, Mr. Lavin was also asked by the bank to become a partner in Otto and Son’s, he initially declined, by chose to stay on as a consultant, with a caveat that stated if he were to ever change his mind, the original offering would still be available to him. Due to the strides that Mr. Lavin has taken in building his company from a small upstart to an international powerhouse, he continues to serve as the standard for new and ambitious entrepreneurs.

Because of Mr. Lavin’s continuous commitment to excellence regarding OSI Group, he has received a myriad of awards, including the Global Visionary Award, presented to him by India’s Vision World Academy. He was also presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award by RSM US LLP in 2015 for his efforts in the Chicago business community. Mr. Lavin considers it an honor to receive such recognition as he continues to be a model for success for the ambitious entrepreneur and credits this success to the family-oriented approach that he has implemented throughout his company. Mr. Lavin is very active in the company and continues to contribute to many charities throughout the world, including Ronald McDonald House. He hopes to remain an inspiration to entrepreneurs around the world, asking that they choose to take a responsible approach to growing their companies.

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Sheldon Lavin Outstanding Success in Business Leadership

The OSI Group is one of the world’s significant providers of meat and meat items. At the point when the organization began, they were only a private venture equip with their primary customer being McDonald’s. Be that as it may, with the assistance of David McDonald, the business advisor who turned into an accomplice, they have figured out how to stretch out their range to four mainlands and frame associations with a portion of the best organizations on the globe.

Some portion of the achievement that they have been getting a charge out of can be ascribed to the initiative they have at the best, particularly direction of their present CEO, Sheldon Lavin. He likewise goes about as the executive to the gathering.

At present, the organization utilizes around 20,000 individuals comprehensively. Something that Sheldon Lavin is proudest of is the corporate culture that he has figured out how to impart in their representatives. The organization’s way of life is family situated and they have low rates of worker turnover. The administration of the gathering trusts that the most imperative piece of the business is the workers since when the representative is dealt with right, the client will dependably be fulfilled.

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Prior to organization picked up the name OSI Group, it was known as the Otto and Sons. In the 70’s, they were given the chance to manufacture a meat preparing plant to wind up noticeably the fundamental provider of ground sirloin sandwiches to McDonald’s. They responded to the call under the direction of Sheldon Lavin. He had been advised to get a stake at Otto and Sons since it would be best for the business.

At first he declined on the grounds that it was not some portion of his consultancy, but rather later, he consented to have a stake in the business. He took up as much shareholding in the business as the Otto Family, and along these lines the decades long organization began.

The organization has extended their scope to the Philippines, China, Australia, India and Japan. This includes to the solid nearness the organization has had in Brazil and Europe. He has gotten many honors for his administration and is likewise a regarded pioneer. Sheldon Lavin is a Trustee of the McDonald’s House Charities, the President of Sheba House Charity and a Board Member at the Rush University Medical Center. He considers all OSI Group workers as individuals from his more distant family.