The history and growth of OSI Industries

The growth of any company is influenced by the culture of innovativeness installed in a company, and the liberty of a company to adopt new technology in their operations. This is indicative of OSI Industries, which has experienced consistent growth since it was established in 1909 by a German immigrant, Otto Kolschowsky. The immense growth of OSI has largely been because of the company’s innovative culture and its practice of utilizing new technology in boosting production.

In the early days of OSI Industries, McDonald was their main client, following an agreement between Otto’s sons, Harry and Arthur, with Ray Kroc. At the time Ray Kroc had set up his first McDonald’s restaurant in Illinois, acting on behalf of a California couple, Richard and Maurice McDonald. On the other hand, Arthur and Harry were running Otto & Sons, which would later transition to OSI Group. Following the success of the McDonald’s restaurant, Ray Kroc was able to purchase the franchise from the couple, and he ambitiously grew it to an international brand. Having signed on as McDonald’s main meat supplier, Otto & Sons would also grow substantially.

The transition from a local Chicago meat supplier to a nationwide meat provider was enabled by the capacity of Otto & Sons to adopt a new cryogenic food processing technology. This enabled Otto & Sons to increase their production of meat products besides saving big on time and cost. As the food company grew bigger and expanded to more locations, it became necessary to bring in a new partner who would help the aging sons of Otto in their rapid expansion plans. The right man was Sheldon Lavin, a finance executive who was heavily involved in the financing of Otto & Sons expansion plans. This was in 1975, and Sheldon Lavin came on board as a partner, triggering a change of name to OSI Industries.

Since then, OSI Industries has grown from city to city, country to country and operates more than 80 facilities in 17 countries. With sales of more than $7 billion, OSI is ranked in the top 100 private companies in the United States. Today, OSI Industries has created employment thousands of people and has increased their products to include value-added protein products such as hamburger patties, pizza, and sausage links.

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