In 1907, Otto Kolschowsky, a German immigrant, arrived in the US with a dream. It took two years for Otto to realize his dream and started a family meat business in Oak Park, Illinois. The business grew steadily, and in 1917, the German newcomer ventured into wholesale business. Due to its reputation as a supplier of high-quality meat products, the business, now known as the OSI Group, grew by leaps and bounds over the decades. It is now one of America’s largest suppliers of meat products.
Sheldon Lavin, the Chairman and CEO of OSI Group, attributes the success of the company to uniqueness. He says that although it is a large entrepreneurial firm, they don’t run it like other companies of similar stature. He runs the enterprise like a family. Every employee feels part of the business and therefore, can commit fully to company ideals. It is a unique corporate culture they have evolved over the years, and it has been highly successful.
With annual revenue of over $6 billion, OSI Group is one of the largest private companies in the US. According to Forbes, it ranks position 58 on the list of America’s biggest private businesses. This position is a clear indication of the popularity of the products and services the company puts on offer for its customers, both locally and internationally.
Due to the OSI’s commitment to quality and customer dedication, it has been able to establish a vast international network. The OSI satellites throughout the world have embraced the family approach in their management and experienced financial flexibility. The parent company emphasizes the need for integration into the local communities. Instead of just being a business, the company becomes a valuable part of the community. Consequently, the OSI progenies abroad have continued to rake in huge profits.
One reason for the sustained success of the company is its liaison with global retail businesses. One such company is McDonalds, and it has benefited OSI through its large customer base. McDonalds, just like OSI, has branches in the main cities across the globe and; therefore, helps distribute OSI products worldwide. There are many other large store food joints under the OSI wing.
Despite its family approach to management, OSI has rules and regulations just like any other company of its size. Every employee understands their boundaries and roles are clearly spelled out. To maintain a close grasp on financial discipline, the business observes strict budgetary guidelines. The result has been minimized expenditure and improved profit margins.
OSI Group has shown that it is possible for any business to succeed even in the face of a miasma of challenges. A German immigrant arrived in the US and set up a family business. A number of factors then combined to transform the small-scale enterprise into a global business giant gradually. Favorable factors do not always occur by chance: careful and strategic planning can go a long way in ensuring success in the treacherous corporate world. Upcoming companies can learn from the meticulous planning and the family approach that has yielded huge profits for the Lavin-led international company.