Sheldon Lavin is the chief executive officer and chief and chairman of the meat processing company OSI Group LLC. He recently sat down to talk about the company and his career background. Lavin had a number of intriguing things to say about the company as well as how he got started in the meat processing and distribution business. Prior to getting involved with OSI Group, Sheldon Lavin worked as a financial consultant. He went into financial consulting in order to give himself key knowledge on how to manage his own business one day. His academic background in both accounting and finance also played a role in his decision to get into his initial career.
Lavin became a part of OSI Group when he arranged financing for the first meat processing facility in West Chicago, Illinois. He provided capital for the Kolschowsky family to get funds to make improvements on the facility. During the next several years, Sheldon Lavin would then continue to be involved with the company and eventually become its owner. Once taking over OSI Group, Sheldon Lavin looked to grow the company and make it into a world class food processing enterprise. Over a span of two decades, Lavin helped expand the company to 17 countries worldwide. With this expansion, OSI Group would eventually become one of the top meat processing and supply companies in the entire world.
Sheldon Lavin revealed that OSI Group is located in 17 along with having over 70 facilities worldwide. The range of products the company sells include protein items, sauces, vegetable items and baked goods. All of these products have allowed the company to help many food retailers and restaurants get what they need to satisfy their customers. When taking over OSI Group, Lavin looked to make the company very entrepreneurial. This meant that the company would emphasize innovation and independence among all of the managers and employees. The company operates like a family where all of the employees and managers work together and support one another. The current entrepreneurial culture is one of the main reasons why OSI Group continues to be among the most successful companies in its industry.
For most of a century, the OSI Group has been growing at a relatively steadily rate; initially founded as a small family-run meat processing company, it’s gone on to become one of the largest food and meat processors and suppliers in the world. Much of this has been because of a few innovative and strategic decisions that the company has made in the past. Over the past few years, much of this has been done under the leadership of David McDonald. Mr. McDonald had worked with a variety of other companies before joining OSI and has had a considerable amount of success in each role.
Throughout much of this time, however, David McDonald has always believed that many public agencies may not be as effective as people would want. Instead, he suggests, it’s been private businesses that have been at the forefront of economic activity and advancements in many countries. As an example, David McDonald used how the OSI Group made it so successful in the first place. This was done through partnering with fast-food giant McDonalds; at the time, the company was rolling out its franchise opportunities, which in itself was a somewhat innovative advancement in the industry. With the partnership between the two companies, both were able to thrive and innovate in their respective areas.
As such, both of these companies became a considerable success; McDonald’s became a household name, and the OSI Group has gone on the become the largest meat processor in the United States. According to most reports, OSI currently creates a few million burgers and food items on a daily basis. However, David McDonald has suggested that this may not have happened if it was two public agencies who had partnered together. While Mr. McDonald has noted that they are effective in some areas; however, he’s also claimed that much of the innovation that has been ascribed to public agencies have been overstated. Because of this, David McDonald has pointed out that historically speaking, it’s been private enterprises that have led advancements and have been the ones that have been truly effective at getting things done.
Because OSI Food Solutions has aspirations to expand its business to a greater extent, the company added a high capacity production line to its facility located in Toledo, Spain and bought a Dutch company, Baho Food. The details of the Baho Food acquisition were not revealed. Baho Food manufactures convenience foods, such as deli meats and snacks. The Dutch company together with its five subsidiaries also serves food service providers and retailers in 18 European countries. According to David McDonald, the President and Chief Operating Officer of OSI, acquiring Baho Food will give OSI a greater presence in Europe. Also, Baho Food’s portfolio of brands and products will serve as a complement and an enhancement to OSI’s existing capabilities to meet the needs of their customers. David McDonald also serves OSI Food Solutions in the capacities of Project Manager of OSI Industries and Director of OSI International Foods (Australia) Pty Limited. He also sits on OSI Group’s board of directors. David McDonald is a graduate of Iowa State University with a B.S. degree in Animal Science.
In Toledo, Spain, OSI Food Solutions added a high capacity production line to its facility there. The project cost a total of €17 million to implement, €1.5 million of which came from the European Agricultural Guarantee Fund, granted to OSI by the regional government because OSI Spain met certain qualifications. That is, OSI Food Solutions has demonstrated a commitment to agricultural development, employment, and sustainability. The new high capacity production line has raised the facility’s production capacity of high-quality, processed chicken to 24,000 tons per year from 12,000 tons per year. Now, OSI Spain’s annual production capacity of quality meat products surpass 45,000 tons. The project was implemented due to a growing demand for chicken products from Spain and Portugal, which has risen by 6 percent annually over the past 10 years and by an average of 8 percent in the last three years. 20 new jobs will be created at the facility.
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