Customers of eScout LLC will soon have greater buyer-supplier management solutions available to them. So, too, will customers of Perfect Commerce Inc. That's because the companies have announced they will merge the two firms into a single entity that provides a broader range of technology offerings than either could provide independently. "The combination of Perfect's sourcing solution with eScout's procurement and payment solutions will enable us to substantially increase our product offering to our existing client base as well as prospects," says Perfect President and CEO James McCormick. "Clearly both our companies were led to this combination by our desire to more fully satisfy our clients' needs." eScout, headquartered in Lee's Summit, Mo., offers collaborative trading capabilities that include a Web-enabled supplier network. Palo Alto, Calif.-based Perfect Commerce describes itself as a complete enterprise supply management solution. The merger neatly illustrates the consolidation that "has been very active in e-procurement and exchanges," notes Pierre Mitchell of AMR Research. "eScout promotes an agnostic buyer-system architecture that allows different e-procurement on-ramps to connect to the exchange." The deal is expected to close in the third quarter. The merged firm will remain private and will be based in Lee's Summit.