Discovering Hidden Profit

Discovering Hidden Profit is a must read for CEOs and executives who are dealing with continuous industry disruption and increased complexity. The book details a thoughtful and actionable methodology to extract hidden profit by removing organizational masks and connecting people and business processes in order to maximize customer value at the lowest possible total cost.

Timely and thorough, this book provides the roadmap for the implementation of operating principles and management methods to connect the core processes of business strategy, product life-cycle management, sales and marketing, and supply chain operations. Discovering Hidden Profit is the blueprint and operational framework to reach the next level of business improvement required in today’s world of constant change and challenge.

“Discovering Hidden Profit builds our understanding and ability to create fundamental core-process connections in order to enable real business improvement.”  – Kenny Larson, President, Slumberland Furniture

“Discovering Hidden Profit identifies the most important business issues that exist today, yet seem difficult to correct. The path forward and leadership roadmap for long-term success has arrived.” Rick Blasgen, President & CEO, Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals

“Discovering Hidden Profit is the Right book, written by the Right authors, at the Right time, providing us the Right Solutions to the Right business problems.” – Dr. Thomas Goldsby, Professor in Business, The Ohio State University



Drift and Hum

Winner of the IBPA Benjamin Franklin Gold Award for Best First Fiction Book

Drift and Hum is a captivating debut novel about the kite ride of life and dealing with obstacles along the way. The story is told through the eyes of Sam, a 50-year-old South Carolina man who reflects from the present day back to his Canadian childhood to make sense of all of the challenges and universal entropy he has faced. His journey includes an extraordinary bond and friendship with three other boys as the four “Beaver Brothers” embark on adventure after adventure in their quest for peace of mind in the Canadian North and the American South.

Drift and Hum offers storytelling at its best, weaving through heights of laughter to lows of sorrow, with twist after twist. The characters will linger in your memory long after you finish the book, as will the powerful themes of father-son relationships and the coaching and mentoring we receive as we grow.

If you have been blessed with success and happiness in your life, this is your story. If you have dealt with personal tragedy, this is your story. If you treasure friendship, this is your story. If you are a survivor, this is definitely your story.

“This one has it all. A real page turner. Martichenko has written a novel that should not be missed. This book is very well researched for those who enjoy learning as they read. The characters are colorful and well developed. It was a blast getting to know them. Martichenko is a first rate story teller but the book possesses a lot more…drama, humor, sadness, poetry and most of all, wisdom to live by, as told by the elders and interpreted by young men in search of their identity. What a great debut for Martichenko. If you like Bryson, you will love this one.” – Amazon Reviewer

“The adventures of the irrepressible ‘Beaver Brothers’ will capture your heart as they navigate the journey into adulthood in the far north.” – Carole Boyd, Professional Copy Editor and NPR Contributor

“Part present, part past, part music, part poetry, part Canada, part USA, part home, part road trip, part pain, part happiness…but ALL story. This is, hands down, the best book I have ever read.” – Jane Young, Retired Educator



People: A Leader’s Day-to-Day Guide to Building, Managing and Sustaining Lean Organizations

Winner of the Shingo Research Award for Operational Excellence

Building a lean problem-solving culture begins and ends with people and leadership. While many books teach about lean tools, few address the day-to-day leadership requirements of successfully transforming organizations into the lean enterprise. In 15 easy-to-read-and-reference chapters, PEOPLE outlines the high-level concepts, activities, principles, and practices that a lean leader must know intimately and apply daily.

This Shingo Award-winning book was written with the sole purpose of fundamentally changing how you think and act relative to leadership.  A lean leader is an educator, trainer, coach, and mentor. The lean leader is always planning, sharing the plan, and executing the plan based on deep knowledge of his team members’ personalities, skills, and how the game is played. As a student and teacher, the lean leader understands the value of people.  We love the game, and the people who play it.

“The People book is the most concise, clear useful lean leadership book I have ever read. My team and I use it as a workbook. We base our weekly PDCA on it and talk about issues based on the chapters in the book.” – Director of Operations, Record Management and Retrieval Services Company

“There are hundreds of books on continuous improvement. People is one of the few books I’ve encountered that stresses the intentional leadership actions needed to develop the behaviors required to support a culture continuous improvement through people development. People is a very good, practical guide for any continuous improvement lead or manger that is familiar with the tools but is looking to adapt their leadership style to develop people and lead a sustainable improvement culture.” –  Kelly More, North America Continuous Improvement Lead

“This book never leaves my back pocket. A must-have resource for the plant floor.” – OPEX Leader, Automotive Parts Manufacturer


Everything I Know About Lean I Learned in First Grade

Building on the precedence created by other great lean books, Everything I Know About Lean I Learned in First Grade brings lean back to its original simplicity by showing how lean is alive in a first grade classroom.

This book connects lean tools to the lean journey, shows how to identify and eliminate waste, and aids the reader in seeing lean for what it truly is: to create a learning and problem solving culture. Written to educate the entire organization on the fundamentals of lean thinking, this is the perfect source to engage all team members at all levels of an organization.

A simple, fun, and quick-read introduction to lean thinking to give to acquaintances, associates, and family members.” – John Shook, Lean Enterprise Institute

 “This is a great book for introducing people to Lean — maybe particularly for those outside of traditional manufacturing settings. My mom, an elementary school teacher, found it a good read in terms of ideas that she would want to see in her school. But that’s not the primary intent of the book. It shows that lean methods and concepts are pretty universal and can be applied in any setting. It shows that lean helps get the most out of everyone’s ability and is not a “mean” cost-cutting methodology or anything to be afraid of, which is true of lean if it’s implemented properly.  Very good book. Fun for those who already know lean, instructive for those who are new to lean.” – Mark Graban, Lean Author, Speaker, Consultant

“Robert has captured the essence of lean and communicated it in a way we can all relate to. We frequently recommend the book to organizations seeking to become lean enterprises.” – Mark Wallace, Executive Vice President of Operations, Pratt Corporation


Building a Lean Fulfillment Stream

Winner of the Shingo Research Award for Operational Excellence

Lean logistics veterans Robert Martichenko and Kevin von Grabe have co-authored the Lean Enterprise Institute’s Shingo Award-winning workbook, Building a Lean Fulfillment Stream. Building on the concepts of waste, flow, and pull, this pioneering workbook illustrates how to analyze the traditional supply chain as a flowing stream of products and information. Building a Lean Fulfillment Stream provides the steps to a comprehensive, real-life implementation process for optimizing your entire fulfillment stream from raw materials to customers. Using clear examples, the workbook gives practical insights into two critical supply chain concepts:

1)  Calculating the total cost of fulfillment

2)  Collaborating across all functions and firms along the fulfillment stream.

Taichi Ohno says “All we are doing is looking at the timeline from the moment the customer gives us an order to the point at which we collect the cash. And we are reducing the timeline by reducing the non-value-adding wastes.” Boart Longyear did exactly this: within four months, the company cut its lead time from 138 days to 12 days by using THIS workbook, rethinking its supply chain starting at the customer and working backwards, and systematically eliminating waste and inventory from the process so that only value remained.

“At LEI we have long felt the need to remedy instability in information and order flow to create smoothly flowing streams of products from suppliers to customers. But until we found Robert Martichenko and Kevin von Grabe, we did not have authors who could combine a proven approach to this challenge with an understandable process.” – Dr. Jim Womack, Lean Enterprise Institute


Lean Six Sigma Logistics

The first book to apply Lean and Six Sigma to Logistics, Lean Six Sigma Logistics embodies the elimination of wastes through disciplined efforts to understand and reduce variation, while increasing speed and flow in the supply chain.  Lean Six Sigma Logistics focuses on Logistics Flow, Capability, and Discipline as the guiding principles for solving any logistics challenge.  Whether your supply chain is on the brink of disaster or good but striving to be the best, this book provides the essence for developing and implementing a successful logistics strategy.

The book features the Logistics Bridge Model that can serve as the supply chain professional’s compass for strategic direction and map for operational improvement.  This book belongs on the bookshelves of all practitioners, executives, consultants, and academics of logistics and supply chain management.


It’s Perfect Being Me

It’s Perfect Being Me is a poetic narrative that captures the importance of embracing who you are and always being your authentic self.

In this book, Robert Martichenko combines his poetry and storytelling skills with vibrant and energizing illustrations to describe the wonderful experience of learning about who you are and deciding to love yourself for your own uniqueness.

The story follows a young girl who starts at a new school and attempts to fit in by being everything other than simply herself. The poem and lessons in the narrative exemplify kindness, empathy, and teach us the importance of embracing our true self in all its originality and diversity.

It is Robert’s hope that children and adults will read this story and be motivated to embrace the individuality of all people – including ourselves – to cultivate a gentler and kinder world.


A Day Well Spent

A Day Well Spent is a poetic narrative that captures the importance of embracing nature and friendship. In this book, Robert Martichenko combines his poetry and storytelling skills with vibrant and energizing illustrations to describe the wonderful experience of taking time to appreciate the good in our world.

The story follows two friends as they walk through the forest and hike mountains on a journey to meet all the amazing creatures the land has to offer. The poem and lessons in the narrative exemplify kindness, empathy, and teach us the importance of embracing nature in all its beauty and diversity.

It is Robert’s hope that children and adults will read this story and be motivated to take a break from technology and simply enjoy A Day Well Spent.


To Make a Sales Call

Short Story

“The man pulls into the parking lot and maneuvers his car into the space allocated for visitors.He glances at the clock shining from the dashboard of the car. Seven twenty-five, he thinks to himself. He looks down at his watch to verify the time. Thirty-five minutes early for my eight o’clock appointment. Twenty-five minutes before I will enter the building, ten minutes early in order to be successful with my sales call. 

The man looks in the rear-view mirror of the car. His first image is the non-descript building he will soon be entering. His mind starts to wander. Just like the rest of them. Nothing special. People don’t want to build interesting structures anymore.

Moving his gaze ever so slightly from the building, the man uses the rearview mirror to peer into his own eyes. “Not bad. I got a reasonable sleep last night. For an old guy anyway. I’ve seen worse.”