David McDonald is president and COO of OSI Group, a food distribution company based in Aurora, Illinois. As a leader in global food distribution, OSI has been a pioneer in China, partnering with brands such as McDonalds and Starbucks.
OSI Group’s success on the global market is because of their local management and local personnel. While large, multinational corporations can bring years of experience and economies of scale in ways that smaller local companies cannot, it is still important to have people who are familiar with the culture and local talent pool. Local personnel are also important in dealing with government regulations. In the food business, it is also extremely important to have someone in place that understands the local consumer’s tastes and wants. As McDonald told Food & Drink International Magazine, “We have a global operation which means we have scale in size but we have local management teams that are very sensitive and very understanding of the local cultures and tastes. It’s the power of global scale and efficiency along with local solutions.”
OSI Group operates in 17 countries with over 50 different facilities. The company provides value-added protein items, sandwiches and pizzas to foodservice and retail brands. OSI has over 20 years of experience in the Chinese market, and has the economy in China has grown, so has OSI’s operations in the country. OSI is one of the largest poultry producers in the country, and provides products to a variety of international brands in China, including McDonald’s, Yum Brands, Papa John’s, Subway, Burger King, Saizeriya, and Starbucks. In regards to the Chinese market, McDonald said, “t continues to be the largest growing consumer market in the world and so it has the power of population, but that population is growing more affluent, as well. We have some great customers in China who are experiencing tremendous growth and we want to keep up with them.”
David McDonald has worked for OSI Group since 1987 after graduating from Iowa State University with a degree in Animal Science. He has previously served as the chairman of the North American Meat Institute and currently is a member of its Board of Directors.
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OSI Industries is one of the largest privately-owned companies in the United States. It was ranked number 136 by Forbes in 2011. By 2016 the company had risen to number 58. OSI Industries also received the Globe of Honor award that year. The honor is given to recognize those organizations that put safety as a forefront policy in their operations. OSI enforces a specific standard that in every aspect of company operation.
OSI Industries continues to expand. It has made several purchases which diversifies its influence within the food manufacturing industry. Tyson Food Group was a local acquisition bought for 7.4 million dollars. Tyson was facing the dilemma of closing its doors and letting go of hundreds of employees. OSI Industries was able to make the purchase and save those jobs. An estimated 400 or more kept their jobs. Many Tyson Food Group employees or offered positions at OSI Industries.
Baho Foods and Flagship Food Group are two European acquisitions made by OSI Industries. Both of these companies bring a unique skill set to food manufacturing. They will help OSI expand its influence throughout the European region. Baho Foods has subsidiary companies that operate throughout Europe and provide a variety of services. Flagship Food Group has made acquisitions of its own to expand its influence within food manufacturing. Managers at Baho Foods will continue to lead their company and work closely with OSI Industries leadership to promote growth.
OSI has grown tremendously over the decades. The company began as a family-owned organization in the 1900s. It was known as Otto and Sons at the time. Otto and Sons developed a relationship with McDonald’s Organization CEO Ray Kroc. Ray Kroc presented Otto and Sons with the opportunity to be McDonald’s number one meat supplier. OSI Industries needed to build a new meat plant for this operation. Sheldon Lavin was brought in to oversee the process. He became the visionary of what Otto and Sons would eventually become.
Soon after Lavin’s involvement Otto and Sons became known as OSI Industries and began to expand to an international level. There are factories throughout the United States, Europe, and the Asia-Pacific. Lavin is committed to expansion. OSI Industries has the capability of providing a variety of products including meatballs, ground beef, hot dogs, baking and vegetable products.
Hiring practices focus on bringing in the type of innovative thinking that matches OSI’s mission. There are recruiting bases in Hungary, Germany, the United Kingdom, Asia-Pacific and the United States.
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