This Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will provide critical improvements to the supply chain. The pandemic highlighted deficiencies in our roads, bridges, railways, ports and airports. Consumers quickly moved to digital shopping, ordering and delivery, placing additional strain on broadband, logistics, transportation, supply chain management and more. This bill will provide the backbone that America will need to stay competitive in the global marketplace.
In the short term
The large amount of funding is significant and goes to existing programs to fill shortfalls and creates new programs, particularly in broadband distribution and cybersecurity, to address gaps in technology, privacy and accessibility. As consumers continue to embrace omnichannel shopping, middle market consumer products companies pivoted quickly to meet consumer demand. The speed of digital transformation has left many companies susceptible to cyberattacks or with limited ability to reach their customers. Funding these areas will be a welcomed improvement.
Sustainability and transparency are also top of mind for consumers, becoming more of a requirement than a luxury. The increased focus on environmental monitoring with funding for natural resources-related infrastructure, wildfire management, clean water and ecosystem restoration will support consumer products companies’ initiatives to produce and deliver environmentally friendly products.
Finally, the biggest benefit from the legislation is the funding for roads and ports to reduce the strained supply chain that has plagued many industries, including consumer products.
The big picture
This package should not be viewed as just a capital injection, but rather a long-term improvement plan to ensure consumers have efficient, affordable and safe access to all types of consumer goods. As for consumer products businesses, including those in the middle market, the hope is for them to strengthen operations, supply chains and more for a profitable future.