Sheldon Lavin is a businessman who owns OSI Group. As the chief executive officer he sets the strategic vision for this company and has shaped its culture. When he took over in 1975 this was an up and coming company which had a valuable contract with McDonald’s to supply them with frozen processed beef, one of only four companies that could make that claim. His company now supplies a number of global restaurant chains and its food is also sold in major grocery chains. He employs over 20,000 people who work at 65 food processing facilities located in 17 nations.
One of the key things that OSI Group needs to do in order to satisfy their customers is to deliver a consistent product made to their exacting specifications. Every restaurant has differently sized protein patties, shapes, and weights. The food they supply also needs to be affordable and something that is consumer-driven. Sheldon Lavin has become an expert at building a global supply chain that can meet the needs of their customers all around the world. The food needs to be delivered over what are sometimes very long distances and so it takes a lot of thought and technology to be successful in the food processing business.
It was in 1977 that Sheldon Lavin opened OSI Group’s first facility outside the state of Illinois. This was in West Jordan, Utah, and other facilities opened across North America from 1978 to the early 1980s. Once McDonald’s expanded overseas Sheldon Lavin made sure his company followed suit. He negotiated a joint venture to open their first facility in Germany and then again in 1980 in Spain. He started to expand into Asia starting in 1987. The first facility there was a joint venture in Taiwan with another in the Philippines following in 1990. China became a part of the World Trade Organization in 2001. Sheldon Lavin could see that China was a huge opportunity for the growth of OSI Group. He built strategic alliances with companies in that country and his company is now one of the major suppliers of protein to restaurants across that nation.