Category Archives: Business Strategist

OSI Industries Grows From Local Meat Market To International Conglomerate

OSI Industries has come a long way since its humble beginnings as a local family-owned meat market in Chicago. Started in 1909 by German immigrant Otto Kolschowsky, the market saw great success for decades. However, a handshake agreement between the meat market owners and a restaurateur in the early 1950s proved even more fateful. As word passed around about Kolschowsky’s meat market, the more popular it became. They provided quality meats and great service to their customers. By the end of the first World War, the company expanded and found a new home in the Chicago suburb of Maywood.

By 1928, Otto Kolschowsky retired and turned the business over to his sons Arthur and Harry. The company was re-branded Otto & Sons. As Otto & Sons continued to grow, another businessman with aspirations to start a restaurant chain, was looking for someone to supply meat to his restaurant in Des Plaines, Illinois. The restaurant owner, Ray Kroc, opened his first McDonald’s in 1955. With a handshake, Otto & Sons became the sole provider of meats for the restaurant. The concept of fast food restaurants was something slowly gaining steam in the United States. Krok, being the genius he was, made McDonald’s the blueprint of what all fast food restaurants should be. Needless-to-say, McDonald’s became a huge success. And as its fortunes rose, so did Otto & Sons.

Not only did they supply burger patties for all McDonald’s restaurants in the Midwest, they soon built a manufacturing plant solely for McDonald’s. Otto & Sons also perfected new technologies such as flash freezing with liquid nitrogen. This process was more efficient and saved a boatload of money. By 1973, the company was on the cusp of becoming one of the greatest meat supplying companies in the United States. Otto & Sons was changed in 1975 to OSI Industries. The Koschowsky brothers were now at retirement age and looking for someone to take over. They chose Sheldon Lavin as partner. Under his Lavin’s leadership, OSI Industries has grown into an international food-supplying powerhouse. OSI Industries has 65 facilities in 17 countries and 20,000 employees.

How The OSI Group Grew To Become A World Leader

For over 100 years the OSI Group and its predecessor, Otto & Sons, has been known for high quality food products. Founded as a Chicago area butcher shop by Otto Kolschowsky, a German immigrant, the company has grown to become a world leader in food processing through innovation and a focus on quality. Originally run by Kolschowsky and his two sons, the company now has 20,000 employees and customers in 85 countries. Called the OSI Group since CEO Sheldon Lavin took over the company in the 1980s, the former butcher shop now has over 65 food processing facilities located in 17 countries.

The company’s inexorable march to greatness started when Kolschowsky and his sons expanded from a community meat market to begin providing wholesale meat to restaurants and supermarkets throughout Illinois. When they had the good fortune to get the contract to provide Ray Kroc and his growing McDonald’s franchise with ground beef, the company began to grow exponentially. Soon it was supplying so much meat for McDonald’s they had to invest in larger facilities, new technology and create a subsidiary called Glenmark to serve its growing number of restaurant and supermarket customers.

Former banker, investor and financial services professional Sheldon Lavin became involved with Otto & Sons when they turned to him for help getting financing to expand. Impressed with their potential, Lavin got them the money and began buying shares in the company. When Otto Kolschowsky’s sons Arthur and Harry retired in the late 1970s, Lavin took over the company, changed its name to the OSI Group and created a plan for global expansion. The combination of his vision, innovation and ability to build a talented, creative, knowledgeable staff has made the company a world leader in the food processing industry.

The former tiny butcher shop is now America’s 58th largest privately-owned company with revenues of over $6.1 billion. The OSI Group is China’s largest poultry processor and has facilities throughout North, South and Central America, Asia, Australia and Europe. They have grown by building state-of-the-art facilities, acquiring food companies like Baho Foods in Holland, Flagship Europe in the UK and Amick Farms in the U.S. It also did joint ventures with companies in Canada, China, Japan, Taiwan, the Philippines, Australia, Brazil, Mexico, Hungary, Poland and Spain.

The OSI Group’s focus on food safety and quality and effective environmental management practices has led to its winning numerous awards. OSI Group Buys Former Tyson Foods Plant in Chicago

What Advice Does Paul Herdsman Provide For Budding Entrepreneurs?

You can decide to be an entrepreneur the clients can depend on or a businessperson other entrepreneur can emulate. Even the entrepreneurs have questions they demand answers for when developing their businesses. It may be easier to have a business idea in mind but developing it could be a real challenge. Business people like Paul Herdsman who has been in the business industry world long enough know businesses have challenges. However, Paul maintains that challenges don’t harm the business, but they increase the capacity of the business person. Throughout his business career, Paul has learned a lot on why businesses fail or succeed.


Throughout a successful career Paul Herdsman has developed aa plethora of corporate wisdom that he expresses in the article “12 Successful Tips for Entrepreneurs”.


He agrees that entrepreneurs always have a rough journey ahead of them. If they haven’t learned how to be steadfast and patient with the process, they stand a chance of losing the business goals they had. He insists any business person doesn’t lose heart to attempt the business one more time because they failed the last time they tried it. What Paul Herdsman has tried to make entrepreneurs understand is that business rewards are always enticing, but the journey towards the rewards is devoid of comfort and pleasure. This means anyone intending to leave an entrepreneurial legacy must persevere and keep their ambitious spirit.


One thing Paul Herdsman emphasized the need of the company to be advertised properly. He affirms that customers don’t turn to any business when nothing has been done. The quality of the advertising you do would determine if you would attract just a few clients or a ton of customers. It’s good to spend time and money on advertising the business because the rewards leave the business owner with a lengthy smile. You can’t lag in advertising your business products and services and expect good returns from them. Get Additional Information Here on Paul’s successes and credentials.


Paul serves at NICE Global as the chief operating officer. In February 2014, Paul Herdsman became ATS Digital co-founder. He is among the prolific leaders you can look upon in the business world. According to Paul, the kind of business plan determines the kind of growth your business would attain. Paul Herdsman believes optimism, risk-taking, pursuing a passion, building the right team, learning from the past, and having a great vision are what those inspiring to be great entrepreneurs should desire.