The American meat processing giant OSI Group has gone from a Chicago-area based operation to an international, global leader in the food processing sector. Today OSI has 70 facilities in 17 countries, including a significant presence in China.
President and COO David McDonald has been with the company for decades. When asked to name key factors in the remarkable ability of OSI to not just penetrate foreign markets, but stay there and thrive, he said the concept of “local” is paramount.
McDonald said that when OSI Group sets up a plant in a Chinese city, they strive to become an integral member of that specific, local community. They hire local workers, observe local traditions and shape company culture to be like, “one of the family.” OSI Group avoids a certain, “This is the way we do it in America so this is how we will do it here” attitude.
David McDonald said it’s important to, “listen first and come up with solutions second.” He said it sometimes takes weeks or even months to gain a deep understanding of the local culture, including the business culture. He said patience is incredibly important. Syncing with local mindsets takes time.
Government agencies are also key. Working closely with the governments administrators and the bureaucracies that exist is vital in building a successful long-term operation in China, McDonald said. One way to do that is to foster transparency. It means meeting personally — early, often and ongoing — with government regulators, administrators and politicians to make sure everyone understands one another.
To this end, David McDonald said he has spent weeks in China building relationships, working out issues and solving problems. He said, “You simply have to go there in person and be on the ground. There just is no other way to do it.”
He said OSI personnel are, “the catalyst that gets organizations together so that everyone can see what solutions look like for them.” Sometimes that means not only finding a way to operate successfully in China, but find ways to manufacture in China and then export to another country.
To know more click: here.