How Sheldon Lavin Changed OSI Group Into A Multinational Firm

When people eat out at restaurants they don’t really think about where the food came from. Many think McDonald’s processes its own food, for instance, or the same with any other restaurant. The food actually comes from a food processing company like OSI Group, LLC, which is one of the biggest around. They supply quite a bit of the food you eat at many restaurants including the aforementioned McDonald’s. OSI’s Sheldon Lavin receives Global Visionary Award.

OSI Group has been around for over a century. For most of the first 70 years of its existence it was known as Otto & Sons. It was renamed OSI Group in 1975. It was in that same year that Sheldon Lavin came on board as a partner, part owner, and chief executive officer. He had a background in finance so the food industry was something mostly new to him at the time. As a financier he had helped Otto & Sons a few years before get the financing they needed to build a new food production facility outside of Chicago. This was this company’s first facility to be dedicated wholly to supplying McDonald’s with frozen ground beef patties.

Sheldon Lavin embued OSI Group with a strong desire to grow the company. He expanded OSI Group internationally as McDonald’s opened new locations around the world. He also established partnerships with many other restaurant and grocery chains along the way. His company now has food production facilities in 17 nations and he is always open to expanding into more countries around the world.

In the past few years Sheldon Lavin has expanded OSI Group through the route of acquisition. He bought Flagship Europe from another American food manufacturer in 2016, for instance, and bought a Dutch company named Baho Foods in that year as well. Also in that year he bought a food plant in Illinois from Tyson Foods who were in the process of shutting it down. This latter purchase was for $7.4 million and in making this purchase he saved 500 local jobs.

Sheldon Lavin is a dedicated philanthropist. He supports many charities including ones that are local, national, and international in scope. He has supported Ronald McDonald House for many years and has a seat on its board of directors. He has also established many scholarship funds and other educational causes like the United Negro College Fund. Additionally, he has helped a number of Jewish nonprofits across the United States.

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OSI Group Working Towards Expanding their Operations

When a company decides to go global, it is essential that it takes the needs of the clients into consideration. Understanding what the people on the ground need is an essential part of the success of any business. OSI Group did not fall short of this target. They made sure they understood the needs of the people in the markets they serve before they started selling in these markets and this has played a great part in their success. They made sure to understand every aspect of running a business in these markets, from what the government regulations were, what the culture of the people was, talent available to the tastes of the people. Due to the fact that OSI Group was a food-related company, they made sure that they took the tastes of the people under serious consideration.

OSI Group is well positioned as a company globally and they are constantly working towards satisfying the needs of the clients when it comes to giving them the best in the market. They have made sure that the teams that represent the company on the ground are well knowledgeable and efficient to make sure that the local communities are well catered to. As much as OSI Group is huge and presented in multiple areas, efficiency has been maintained in their operations. It has its headquarters in Aurora and they deal with the supply of protein items that have value added to them. Some of their products include beef patties, pizza, sandwiches, and sausages. Through their constant supplies and reliability, they have emerged as a leader in the retail and supply of these value-added proteins around the world.

OSI Group led by its President, David, has operations present in over 50 facilities and is well represented in 17 countries. As they continue providing efficiency, reliability, and convenience to the local people, China is on their roadmaps of expansion. It has been operating in China for more than 2 decades. During this time, they have expanded with the countries growth. They have taken time to understand what the people on the ground want and they are looking to expand the company to satisfy the growing demand of the locals. They have 8 facilities that are already functioning as they work on adding a couple more.

As soon as this set up is done, they will be their competitors envy in China as they will be the leaders of poultry production. Some of their clients in China include Starbucks and Subway among others.

OSI Group Info:

Sheldon Lavin, OSI Group CEO Invests in People

Otto Kolschowsky, a German immigrant arrived in Oak Park, Illinois in 1909 and started a family meat market. By 1928, Otto & Sons were a thriving local market serving top-of-the-line meats to the locals in the Chicago suburbs. For many years, the locals of Illinois enjoyed Otto & Son’s fresh quality meats.

By 1955 Otto and Sons teamed up with McDonald’s a company just starting out. Otto & Sons cut a deal with McDonald’s. They agreed to supply McDonald’s with quality ground beef patties. However, Otto & Son needed solid funding. They needed an extra hand from investors for growing their business.

In 1970, Sheldon Lavin, owner of his own financial and consulting firm initially agreed to become Otto & Son’s financial consultant. During that time, Levin was established in the banking industry. However, he was about to become successful in meat industry. As an executive and investor, Lavin organized the funding for Otto & Sons. This business relationship grew over the years. Furthermore, the overseas investment markets began to look quite promising.

By 1975, Lavin had partnered with Otto & Sons. In the late 70’s Otto & Sons changed their business name to OSI Group and continued growing with McDonald’s. Additionally, in 1980, one of the original partners sold out of the OSI Group. This decision moved Lavin to the position of controller of half of OSI’s group interest. By now, Lavin was in a full-time partnership position with McDonald’s. Ultimately, after the last OSI partners retired, Lavin’s voting control escalated to 100%.

OSI is known throughout Europe Japan, China, Australia, South America, South Africa, India, the Philippines, and Brazil. Overall, sixteen countries and over 55 facilities are evidence of the growing demand for quality meats.

At the age of 81, Lavin is still servicing various countries with fine protein. Servicing through the McDonald’s system, OSI is the largest protein supplier. Lavin’s strong background in banking and investing played an important role in success. Lavin has an extensive list of his contributions and achievements.

Lavin believes that business thrives when “people first” remains on top of the list as important. The rate of turnover is less because people tend to stick around longer in a fun, family-oriented environment. He cares about people and families. Lavin and his late wife of 55 years raised three children. Mr. Lavin considers all employees as an extension of his worldwide family.

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