Needles to Neos, Integration, Automation & EfficiencyApril 04, 2024

Zehl & Associates Gains Flexibility and Productivity with Shift from Needles to Neos

Lawyer working with client

Zehl & Associates is a Houston-based personal injury law firm with an additional office in Midland, Texas. The firm also represents clients in Louisiana and other states. Crystal Martinez is the firm’s settlement administrator, and has been with the firm for more than four years. She was there when they made the upgrade from Needles to Neos. Vanessa Garcia joined Zehl & Associates as a paralegal, less than a year ago, coming from a firm that used Needles.

Key Results:

  • Expanded tagging options in Neos improve access to information
  • Neos Academy powers efficient, consistent training for new hires
  • Notes eliminate the need for “constant team updates,” buying back time and ensuring everyone has the same information
  • Greater flexibility in constructing settlement memos improves client communication and satisfaction

Zehl & Associates made the switch to Neos for the increased case management abilities, added integrations like QuickBooks, and a more modern, user-friendly interface.

Before Neos

Before Neos, many processes were clunkier and more time-consuming. Email attachments had to be saved to a folder, and the email could be tagged right in the system but the attachments could not. A new case meant manually creating a new case folder on the server. Lack of integration meant information like case expenses had to be transferred from one system to the other. And, there were far fewer options for reporting and for formatting settlement memos. Overall, it took more time to complete tasks, and some required shifting to another platform like QuickBooks.

With Neos

With Neos, many processes are streamlined through built-in features, improved interfaces and more integrations.

Drag-and-Drop and Tagging Supercharge Email Management

Saving email attachments to a folder seems like a small thing “until you do it 30 times a day.” Crystal notes that enhanced features such as the ability to tag attachments as well as the email itself and to drag and drop those documents adds up to big time savings. Vanessa seconds this, pointing out that the ability to tag attachments means what she’s doing will always be clear to the next person who looks at those attachments or has a question about the case.

“The drag-and-drop feature is really helpful, especially with so many emails coming in day in and day out.”

Neos Academy Simplifies Training

Vanessa says coming to the firm from a Needles background, she found it easy to adapt to Neos without any significant need for training. But when new hires come in without experience in case management systems or having used an entirely different platform, Neos Academy offers a great opportunity to train new hires without experienced staff members having to invest significant time in walking the new team member through the processes. And, having those on-demand videos available means nothing is overlooked and it’s always quick and easy for a user to review a process or learn something new.

Notes Turn “Act and Update” Into One-Stop Processes

Crystal’s role includes sending a lot of reduction requests to lienholders and subrogees such as medical providers and insurance carriers that have paid accident-related medical bills. In addition to the time-savings and clear organization tagging of attachments offers, she appreciates the new ability to add notes to a specific value in Neos. This allows team members to see what’s happening right in the system. That means she doesn’t have to send out updates as she works, and the rest of the team doesn’t have to keep track of numerous separate emails.

Greater Flexibility in Neos Gives Clients the Information They Want, the Way They Want It

Neos offers multiple ways to show settlement breakdowns, including differing levels of detail and differing structures. This allows Vanessa to create settlement memos that highlight what clients are most interested in and arrange in-depth information like a long list of itemized costs in a way that makes sense to them. She’s even discovered that the right presentation has an impact on client satisfaction.

What We Love about Neos

In addition to the benefits described above, the firm loves the texting functionality that allows them to message clients by clicking on an icon in the corner of the screen rather than going through email and allows the team to revisit the conversation. Crystal says this is yet another feature that allows the whole team to see what’s happening in the case without checking in with one another.

“I think texting through Neos and saving conversations to the case file is amazing functionality.”

The team also values the enhanced reporting, which Crystal describes as having “a billion filters.” They use reporting for everything from tracking recent settlements and attorney caseloads to sending out birthday cards to their current and past clients. She also appreciates the emails Neos sends out with feature updates and tips. For example, she remembers receiving an email with instructions for generating mailing labels in Neos just as the firm was preparing to send out Christmas cards.

The firm looks forward to continuing to increase efficiency and client service through Neos. Vanessa says she’s still discovering new things Neos can do for them. And, they look forward to increased use of automation, including automating assembly of their intake packets.


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Zehl & Associates made the switch to Neos for the increased case management abilities, added integrations like QuickBooks, and a more modern, user-friendly interface.

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