National Weights and Measures Benchmarking and Needs Assessment Survey: Final Report
Gross domestic product (GDP) figures published by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) reveal that more than $10 trillion in final goods and services are produced in the United States each year. Durable and nondurable goods destined for personal consumption account for about 30 percent of this total economic activity. As these goods move through our nation’s supply chains, they change hands many times, in transactions involving manufacturers, shippers, wholesalers, distributors, retailers, and final consumers. In a large number of these transactions, the quantity of goods exchanged is determined by passing them over, through, or across devices regulated by state and local Weights & Measures (W&M) offices. In this study, we describe the results of a national survey and benchmarking effort that we performed for the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Weights and Measures Division (WMD). To capture the information necessary to assess the national weights and measurements system, we visited device manufacturers and state and local W&M offices and administered an online survey to all state offices, county offices in California, and a handful of selectively chosen local and county offices. This report provides a quantitative analysis of the results of the survey effort and a more qualitative analysis of the W&M environment, including potential areas for improvement.