This year, OSI Group celebrates 100 years of continuous growth since its establishment. The company management reckons how the food and meat processing and distribution company metamorphosed from a butcher shop down the street into a global conglomerate. The company takes stock of the strides it has had to take in its journey to establishing a foothold in the leader’s list for the global food industry with over 20,000 employees scattered in 65 facilities across 17 countries to thank. And while hitting such milestones hasn’t always been easy, OSI Group made through it all.
A promising start
The Aurora-based OSI Group traces its roots to Oak Park Chicago where it first opened doors to the surrounding community in 1909 as a butcher shop under the leadership of Kolschowsky. Due to unquestionable business ethics and an economic boom at the time, the small retail meat shop experienced rapid growth that saw to venture into the wholesale market. By the turn of a decade, the business rebranded into Otto & Sons and continued to operate under this brand until Sheldon Lavin took over its leadership prompting the change of name to OSI Group.
Like most companies, OSI foods has had to bear the brunt of the economy time and again, some of which threatened its very existence. Others caused stalls and glitches in operation that have in several cases led to missed business opportunities whose impacts could have changed the course of the company. OSI acquires UK’s Flagship Europe.
For instance, the company missed the opportunity of becoming McDonald’s sole supplier of fresh ground meat when the company first started. The financial strains the company was experiencing at the time limited its production capacity thus making it unable to meet McDonald’s supply demands.
Devastated by this turn of events, Otto’s sons brought in Sheldon Lavin as the company’s chief financial officer, and his revolutionary financing strategies helped dispel doom in the company. Sheldon later invested in the company, gaining a controlling share that resulted in a partnership with Otto’s sons and the renaming of the meat processor to OSI Group.
Capitalizing on innovative technology and strategies
Upon assuming office, Sheldon sought to investigate the biggest crippling the growth opportunities for the company despite its long years of service. At this time, poor strategy and redundant technology kept coming up as key inhibitions. To address this Sheldon steered the company towards the adoption of new and innovative technology for use within their processing facilities. He also adopted a change of growth strategy where the company now concentrates more on the acquisition of existing brands as opposed to building new facilities when it comes to expanding global operations.
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