To develop a strategic plan, as a nonaccounting manager, you need to analyze and link management accounting data and performance information with business strategies. You also need to extend the scope of management accounting beyond the organization. For this perspective, you will need to focus on variables that are external to the firm, such as variables relating to markets, customers, and competitors. This external focus will help you develop a sustainable competitive advantage, which is the primary element of your long-term growth strategy. In this assignment, you will analyze the factors that affect the long-term growth strategy of a company. Tasks: Respond to the following: What can you learn from the financial statements of competitors that determine the relative cost position of your company? What are some of the ways in which you can secure a sustainable cost advantage over the competition? How does maintaining a strong understanding of relative costs help you maintain the competitive advantage? How do you use cost structure to differentiate products? Do you think product differentiation is a successful growth strategy? Why or why not? What is the usefulness of conducting a customer profitability analysis?